Or someone says something you don’t understand.
But instead of asking that person the what or why, you create your own little story around it.
Or you think you heard the whole story but you really didn’t.
And that makes your understanding discordant and incompatible with the truth of the matter.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24
It might be someone close to you.
Or a teammate.
Or a family member.
Or maybe you heard or read something that set you on edge internally.
What do you do in circumstances like these?
What should you do?
Bury your head in the sand?
Or hit the subject head on?
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13
What did Almighty God say to do if someone who is your brother or sister in arms, in the truth of Jesus Christ, sins against you?
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
What if the other person has not committed a sin?
Maybe the conflict is due to that person’s character.
Or their temperament.
Or maybe their disposition doesn’t suit you.
To resolve the mismatch, and the negative potential it may have on you and others, you know deep down in your heart that you really should converse with that person.
But you haven’t figured out how to take the steps to discuss it with them.
So the condition continues.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Maybe you think it’s no big deal.
Maybe you think it wouldn’t hurt to just let it go, unchecked.
Or you ask yourself: Why must I be the one to muster the bravery to hit the subject head on?
But then you realize that if you don’t, others might get hurt.
Wait, did you catch that?
Others might get hurt.
Can you actually decide to stand by and let that happen?
Especially if you consider yourself to have a good conscience?
Part of your job in caring for others in the truth is to help them not get hurt.
So you pray about it and find the valor in yourself to speak up.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Maybe Luke wrote for a reason that in matters like these we should pay attention to ourselves.
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. Luke 17:3
You can look at dealing with conflict in a couple of ways:
- You can make it easy.
- Or you can make it difficult.
Here are several ways to prepare yourself to deal with conflict:
- Be authentic.
- Be a good listener.
- Set your boundaries.
- Show you care.
- Be steadfast and patient. Everyone moves at a different speed.
A few other tips:
- Be vulnerable.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, being open and honest ... during challenging times demonstrates a sense of trust that can develop into mutual respect. ... Sharing where you are struggling fosters an ecosystem of understanding and support, and does far more good than pretending that you are The Fearless, Flawless Leader.
- Be aware.
Stop and ask, “Why isn’t this working?”…
- Center yourself.
Center yourself so you can be a calm and rational mediator.
- Manage mediation.
lays out what you expect from those in the disagreement to create a safe space for honest communication.
- Listen deeply and actively.
It’s important to acknowledge the feelings of each party involved and use reflective language to show that they’ve been heard.
- Acknowledge, respect and thank. Repeat.
It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to make others feel appreciated. A simple email, text or brief handwritten (ideally, hand-delivered) note has the power to touch deeply and stave away challenging occurrences.
Ideas from: https://ideas.ted.com/6-tips-for-dealing-with-conflict/
You can do it.
Especially for the benefit of Jesus Christ’s people as well as yourself.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. Proverbs 17:14
Find the courage in yourself to easily address conflicts this week.