Conflict. I hate the word, hate how it effects people, hate how it effects me. Conflict stinks.
Sometimes conflict comes into my life because of someone else’s behavior, sometimes it’s my own fault. Either way, Scriptures tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:13 to “be at peace among yourselves.” — this can be a hard thing to do.
How do you resolve conflict though? Prayer is the first thing, actually, prayer should always be the first thing. Pray for reconciliation, pray for open communication between the parties, pray for those who were not directly involved, but who are directly effected.
Do not try to coerce the parties to reconcile by manipulation or guilt. These are false motives and if the goal is true reconciliation and forgiveness, then there should be nothing false in or near it.
After prayer, listen. Listen to the ones who are involved in conflict– don’t interrupt– don’t try to defend your side of things- just listen.
One of the biggest ways I have created more conflict, instead of removing it, is when I try to force my views on someone else. I may not ever understand the other person’s views completely, but if I want to continue to have a relationship with the other person, I must work toward reconciliation.
Now this doesn’t mean it will be easy, it is often the hardest thing to do. Still, even in the difficult moments, what is most important?
The third thing is speak. Tell your perspective, let them hear your heart. If you don’t share your heart, how will you be able to get healing?
Finally, pray some more. Pray that you were heard, pray that this will help bring you closer together, that you will understand the person more than you did before. It may even give you ideas of how to pray for the person in the future.
The only other words I would offer are: don’t let too much time transpire between the conflict and the resolution. The more time you let pass, the more set in your ways you become, and the harder it is to come together.
I’ll be praying. Hopefully, you will be too.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV).