LOVING CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Girls Staring each other down - Stuart Miles

In a previous post, I had discussed why God’s perfect love is important in helping us to overcome any reservations about confrontation when it comes to resolving conflict. Today I want to discuss how love can help us to actually become better at resolving conflict. You probably know these things, but we all need a reminder about what we should be doing from time to time.

The goal of conflict resolution is not to win an argument. It should be to improve the relationship and promote unity. Therefore, let’s look at I Corinthians 13:4-5 to make sure we are walking in love as we engage in conflict resolution. If we apply the tenets of love during the conflict, we have a better chance of having a positive outcome which leads to a better relationship. Loving conflict resolution has the following characteristics:

Patience – Sometimes we will confront a person with the truth, and they don’t seem to be getting it. When you confront and it seems the person is not receiving or understanding what you are saying, be patient and allow the Holy Spirit to minister and help them to get it in God’s timing.

Kindness – When in the heat of the battle, we need to remember to be kind because the other person has feelings. Kindness will go a long way when it comes to getting people to hear what you have to say. The delivery is everything.

Free of Envy – Envy often rears its ugly head when two people who are supposed to be on the same team compare their accomplishments and one of them feels like they are less than the other. Remember you are on the same team and refuse to compare yourselves to one another. You are not to compete with one another but complement one another.

Free of Rudeness – Many times when a person brings an issue to the table, the other person will attack them and talk about their faults. This is an effort to throw light off of their shortcomings and onto the person who is doing the confronting. They may resort to putdowns. There is no place for rudeness in conflict resolution. Once you say words that hurt, you can’t take them back. Therefore, be courteous as you conduct your discussion.

Not Self-seeking – We should not seek to boost our self-esteem or win in a conflict. We should seek to build the other person’s self-esteem and promote a deeper connection and understanding that will lead to a better relationship. The ultimate goal of conflict resolution is for each person to win in the form of a better, more fruitful relationship, not to get what you want.

Not easily angered – In the heat of the battle we can get angry, but we need to make sure that we don’t let anger get the best of us. Remember the enemy will try to get you to say hurtful things in anger that you will certainly regret later. Therefore, keep a tight reign on your tongue in the middle of “intense fellowship.”

Conflict is inevitable, but we don’t have to let it tear us apart. Effective conflict resolution can be the glue that holds us together. But it does require that each party be willing to walk in love for it to work. Therefore, let’s seek to have discussions laced with love so that we can have better relationships and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

How has God’s love helped you to resolve conflict lately? Please leave a comment below.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

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