How do you handle conflict?
Our answers to this question are big because inevitably, we all will have conflict. In fact, how we respond to this, can determine what happens to us and to those around us, when we face it.
At some point, we will have conflict in our home, with our friends, at our job, in our church and with ourselves. Have you been there? If you haven’t, just hold on, it’s coming!
Now please, keep reading because this blog is not doom and gloom, I promise. It’s actually the hope and strategy we have in Jesus, when we face the conflicts in our lives. It’s vital for us to remember, that in Jesus, we always have hope.
So back to the question, how do you handle conflict?
Over the years, it’s amazed me to see how difficult it is for adults to navigate conflict in a healthy and biblical way. Furthermore, if I’m transparent, I’m amazed at myself too, because it’s not easy. Most of the time, our temptation is do what we feel in the moment, which only leads to chaos and greater hurt. But it’s my belief that God has called us higher.
He’s called us to be Peacemakers!
Jesus said this,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”Matthew 5:9
Notice, as a peacemaker, we are blessed and we called a son or daughter of God. This is great, so how do we practice being a peacemaker?
There is a BIG difference between making the peace and keeping the peace. Most of us prefer to keep the peace, because this actually avoids conflict and it doesn’t address the pink elephants in the room.
Therefore, keeping the peace keeps the status quo, while never having real conversations.
In reality, a lot of relationships are keeping the peace verses, making it. This is leading to passive aggressive behaviors, resentment, stress, lying and pint-up emotions that usually have outlets with wrong things.
This is not what Jesus has for us and furthermore, with Him, we can break this pattern.
“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”Proverbs 29:25
Notice, when we trust the Lord, we are safe. Which means, if we’re safe in Jesus, we can step out and face conflict head on, because we’re going to be protected.
Also notice, when we let the fear of people dictate what we do, it’s a dangerous trap.
So how do we make the peace?
This is where we find peace in conflict, as we step out and be peacemakers.
First, we make the peace by addressing the pink elephants in the room. That’s right, we go there!
This can be overwhelming but it’s needed because, when we talk about it, then it has the chance to be healed. If we don’t talk about it, nothing will ever get better. So, we have to address the obvious issues with honesty and open hearts.
Second, we make the peace by making adjustments personally. Meaning, we’re willing to say sorry when we should, take ownership of our part and make the adjustments we need to make.
This is big because making the peace is NOT the refusal of personal accountability and change. That’s narcissism. We are called to be humble toward God and toward others.
Third, we make the peace by choosing to forgive and establish clear boundaries. I believe these two things go together because if we don’t forgive, we don’t have clean and clear boundaries.
Every relationship, in every setting needs boundaries. These can empower health, respect, open dialogue, and growing trust.
Isn’t this what we all want? Of course, and Jesus gave us the way to do it, be a peacemaker!
This is how we can find peace in conflict.
So last question, right now, are you keeping the peace or making the peace?
I pray you choose to be a peacemaker as move through conflicts, because they don’t have to bring chaos, but rather you can find peace.
Love you and have a great week peacemakers!