Handling and resolving conflict as a Christian
1) Avoid starting conflict:
A wise person is a peacemaker and an unwise person is a troublemaker. Avoid finding yourself in situations that will make you the instigator in conflict. Refrain from comparing, condemning, complaining or contradicting your partner/friend. (Proverbs 20:3). Refusal to do this can lead to anger and anger puts us in unwise situations ( Proverbs 14:29). Also learn to let go of disagreements. Understand that it is not mandatory for your partner/friend to agree with you on every matter.
2) Be considerate and understanding of other people’s feelings (James 3:17):
Often times people react to what people say and not how they feel. It is important to understand. Do not pay too much attention to the words someone uses in conflict, but rather pay attention to the emotions behind the word. You need to look behind the words at the emotion because people do not always say what they mean but they always feel what they feel. Ask tactful questions to better understand emotions.
3) Cut others some slack:
Be wise and show grace to people who offend you. Every time you are merciful, compassionate and forgiving you are doing more like God. It is wise to cut others some slack because God cuts you slack all the time (Proverbs 17:9).
4) Before you retaliate calculate the cost of your relationship:
Anger is so easy, but retaliation from anger can cost you a lot. (Proverbs 29:22, Proverbs 15:18, and Proverbs 14:19). The cost of anger is more anger, apathy, alienation, resentment and unforgiveness. So after someone starts pushing your buttons ask yourself Do I want to do this? Do I want to make mistakes? Do I want to sin more? Do I want to have regrets? Control your anger (Proverbs 14:29).Anger yields anger and wisdom yields patience. To avoid anger focus on your identity on Jesus and do understand that everything else is flawed/transient.
5) Handle difficult people, with grace:
Dealing with difficult people has more to do with grace and your walk with Christ. When dealing with difficult people always realize that
- You cannot please everyone at once (Matthew chapters 22:18)
- Learn to say no to unrealistic expectations (Ephesians 4:15)
- Never retaliate (Matthew 5:38–39)
- Pray for them (Matthew 5:44)
6) It takes a lot of courage to resolve conflict:
If you consider yourself, eager to resolve conflicts, consider yourself courageous.It takes a lot of courage to resolve conflict as:
- Unresolved conflicts, blocks your fellowship with God (John 4:20).
- Unresolved conflict hinders your prayers.
- Unresolved conflict hinders your happiness.
7) Focus on fixing the problem, not the blame:
We only have a certain amount of emotional energy. You can choose to use that energy to fix the blame or use that energy to fix the problem. Refrain from using triggers in friendships/relationships such as threatening divorce, threatening to walk out or bringing someone’s parents up. Get rid of bad talk. It can affect your relationship (Colossians 3:8). The reason we should focus on fixing the problem and not the blame is because blaming is a form of judgment and only God can judge or has the right to judge. You cannot figure out anybody else’s motivation neither can you jump into conclusion.
8) Focus on reconciliation, not resolution:
Reconciliation means re-establishing the relationship and resolution means resolving every issue. Resolution probably is not going to happen because you are never going to agree on some things. Nobody on this planet agrees with you about everything, so you are never going to have resolution on all your issues. Wisdom is learning to disagree without being disagreeable.
9) Do not hold things in:
The reason why David wrote the book of Psalms, was because he was in pain. He used the book of Psalms to vents out his pain. He talked about the consequences of keeping things in (Psalms9:1 — 4). When in conflict express yourself to your friend/partner. If you feel like you are misunderstood, you have to speak up and tell someone you trust. You’ve got to bring it into the light so that God can begin to lead you into healing.
Contents inspired by teachings from my Bible app.