- First of all, examine your role in the conflict. Ask God to show you your contribution to the problem. Reflect on these questions:
a. Did you respond to them in a way that pleases God?
b. Do you refuse to talk to them, so even if they wanted to apologize, you would never know?
c. Have you already in your mind sent them to hell and you are just waiting on God to process the paperwork?
d. Are you using your influence in a way that will bring about a peaceful resolution to the situation?
- Out of examining your role comes admitting when you are wrong. Don’t try to justify your wrong by using the other person’s wrong as your reason for doing wrong. Remember two wrongs don’t make a right.
- If you feel someone has done you wrong, acknowledge why you are upset. When people hurt us, we make two fatal assumptions. We assume that they know they hurt us and we assume they know why we are hurt. Help the person understand the effect of their actions and give them the opportunity to clarify the intentions of their actions.
- Understand that your preferences are not gospel truth. It doesn’t mean a person has sinned just because they didn’t do what you thought they should have done.
- Address the issue, don’t attack the person! “It upset me when you said…” sounds better than “You are always talking crazy!” Own your feelings. When a person feels attacked, the issue is not likely to get resolved. A person will either avoid the discussing the situation or attack back. Many people begin arguing about the way they are arguing and never get back to addressing the issue.
- Be flexible. As perfect as you think your way is, there is probably an even better way! Remember that conflict resolution is not about winning the conflict, it is about resolving it. When we take the attitude of “I won and you loss”, the relationship ends up losing. Brainstorm to come up with solutions that you can both live with.
- Only try to control what you can actually control: yourself. There is no way that you can control another person. You cannot make another human being do anything! It is difficult enough to control self. In fact, self control is the work of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Understand that we all have something we need to change! We are all works in progress and we each have something that we need to change. When we are merciful and patient with others, people will in turn be merciful and patient with us (Luke 6:36-38).
Conflict is inevitable. It is how we handle the inevitable that helps us mature in Christ. As we seek to better manage the conflict in our lives, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.