We read within the Bible that “Keeping away from strife is an honor for man, but any idiot will quarrel.” (Proverbs 20:3). Though difficult, it’s clear that resolving conflict is biblical. So, what can we learn from the Scriptures to assist us?
Someone has said that the most effective definition of conflict is that this: two people. When two individuals are involved, conflict is inevitable somewhere down the road. Married couples, families, teammates, workmates, neighbors, friends – we’re all going to come across conflict in our relationships. Now, the goal of life will not be to live conflict-free. The goal is to resolve conflict in a godly way. So, I need to share six vital biblical keys to recollect when facing conflict.
Seek Wise Counsel
In times of conflict, in search of clever counsel from trusted friends, relations, or a mentor is important. Share your struggles with someone, a 3rd party who can offer guidance and support. It’s often an outdoor perspective that may make clear a situation and supply a chilled influence. Proverbs 15:21 reminds us, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed.”
Take the High Road
Proverbs 26:4-5 says, “Do not answer a idiot in line with his folly, lest you furthermore mght be like him. Answer a idiot as his folly deserves, lest he be clever in his own eyes.” When you are in conflict, refrain from attacking an individual’s character. Don’t change into disrespectful and condescending. Don’t threaten, and do not interrupt. Honor the Lord in the style during which you conduct yourself. Take the high road whenever you’re in a conflict.
Be Quick with Forgiveness
We learn in Proverbs 10:12 that “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” Be quick to grant forgiveness whenever you’re wronged and seek forgiveness if you find yourself within the improper. Don’t delay with regards to forgiving.
Look for a Win-Win Scenario
The goal in conflict resolution will not be win-lose, where I win and also you lose. No, it’s for either side to win, unless the conflict revolves around a transparent biblical principle that can’t be compromised. A win-win is actually favorable, with either side feeling respected, heard, and validated.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Life is crammed with conflicts, and Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, not peacekeepers. What’s the difference? Peacekeepers avoid conflict in any respect costs, but peacemakers take care of difficult issues to enjoy real peace. As one man told me concerning his business partner, “Sometimes we’ve to undergo the tunnel of turmoil to get to the tunnel of affection.”
Guard against Pride and Anger
Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride results in conflict.” Now, when our pride is wounded, we are able to easily lash out at the opposite person. And whenever you feel that anger rising up inside you, do a fast inventory to see if that is coming from wounded pride. If so, hold your tongue. Step away from the conflict until your emotions quiet down. Remember, God is against the proud but gives grace to the common-or-garden.
Anger is very difficult, so I need to dive deeper into how we are able to manage this human emotion. We know from Proverbs 16:32 that “He who’s slow to anger, is best than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city.” So, I need to share three vital lessons with regards to anger.
Understand the Subject of Anger
Proverbs 14:29 tells us, “He who’s slow to anger, has great understanding, but he who’s quick-tempered, exalts folly.” Most people don’t understand anger thoroughly. Not all anger is improper or sinful. If we watch the news and see horrible injustices going down or wickedness displayed before our eyes involving children or the defenseless, we must always get offended. This known as righteous indignation. It’s right to be offended about these items. God gets offended about these items. But righteous indignation will not be the anger that gets us into trouble. Unrighteous indignation brings strife into our marriages, families, and relationships.
Understand the Root of Anger
The Lord asked Cain in Genesis, “Why are you so offended?” Unrighteous anger boils up when things don’t go our way when we’ve expectations that do not get met. You’re running late and get stuck in traffic, or your computer dies, losing all of your work. When those things occur, we are likely to blow our tops. Cain was offended because God didn’t accept his sacrifice. Unrighteous anger also boils up after we get hurt emotionally. Every hurt at all times turns to anger. It’s the opposite side of the identical coin. Every offended person you meet is a hurting person. And we’ve all heard that hurting people hurt people.
Understand How to Control Anger
First, we must give all our expectations to God when things don’t go our way. Just forged your cares upon him and consider all of it joy, as James tells us in chapter one. Refuse to blow a fuse over whatever is going on that is making you mad. Just say, “Okay, Lord, you’ve this; I give it to you, and I’ll put it in the enjoyment column.”
Then, give all of your hurt feelings to the Lord. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him in any respect times.” Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us. We all have hurts, so give those hurts to the Lord. Don’t keep those bottled up in your heart. Pour them out to him and let God bring healing.
Finally, we must truly forgive all those that have hurt us. I do know that is a tall order, but when God can forgive us of all our many sins, then he can enable us to forgive from the center those individuals who have hurt us. Forgiving those that hurt you is letting the captive go free, only to seek out that the captive was you.
If you place these six keys into practice in your life and your interpersonal conflicts, you might be amazed on the change in final result. We need to be doers of the Word, not only hearers who delude ourselves. Consider these items, put them into practice in our lives, and trust God amid conflict, knowing He’s at work. We must be soft clay within the hands of the Master so He can mold us into the person He wants us to be.
Dr. Jeff Schreve is Pastor of First Baptist Church, Texarkana, Texas, and the founding father of From His Heart Ministries. He is a passionate communicator of the Scriptures whose love for the Lord and love for people comes out in every sermon he preaches. He might be heard hosting American Family Radio’s “Real Truth for Today” and Pray.com’s “Weekly Wisdom with Jeff Schreve,” from which this piece is taken.
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