Navigating Conflict

Conflict resolution in relationships is important.  Conflicts are inevitable.  You are going to have arguments.  It is how you resolve the conflicts that is extremely important.

Here are my notes regarding some methods to practice and some corresponding Bible verses.

All credit goes to Brittany Rust and her module on navigating conflict on the  @YouVersion Bible iPhone app lifeplan ‘Navigating Conflict (And Why It Can Be A Good Thing)’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/f2

  1. Emulate the Mercy and Goodness of God. Colossians 3:15 states to let the Peace of God rule in your hearts.  The author identifies that  she had a problem with navigating conflict in that it actually derived from growing up in dealing with conflict in various ways with her parents and siblings.
  2. Prepare your Heart.  If anger supersedes your ability to process the conflict, then you must deal with it in order to open up to the other person.  Also, the devotional mentions that it’s hard to address conflict by placing blame on the other person.  Matthew 7:3-5 connotes that it is often easy for us to look at the “mote” or small splinter, in someone else’s eye, but to ignore the “BEAM” in our own.
  3. Don’t be Afraid.  Often times we shut down, fearful of how the other person might be hurt or offended.  One must step out of this fear and give the other person the chance to process your request.  2 Timothy 1:7 states that:  “…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  Talk to the other person using all of these steps and your conflict navigation can be maximized.
  4. Follow the SET formula.  (Support, Empathy, and Truth) … When addressing a conflict, start soft with support and care of the other person.  Let them know that you GENUINELY want to hear their side.  Then empathize with their feelings.  Find a common shared emotion and tap into it.  Lastly, after this rapport has been gained, speak the truth.  James 1:19-20 states that man should be “…swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath”.  ’nuff said.
  5. Focus on the Real Issue.  Sometimes we just don’t go deep enough to find the real cause of the conflict OR we bring up non-related suppressed feelings.  The author refers to James 5:16 and states that we should confess our faults to one another and PRAY for one another that we may be healed.  “…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
  6. Don’t Overreact.  I am guilty.  The best way to derail a resolution of conflict is to overreact, and explode.  And to bring up old stuff.  My mother always says to address a situation and be cool, calm, and collected.  Just now thinking about recent conflicts I’ve had, I totally messed this up.  Remember, number 2 said to prepare your heart.  Pinned up anger is not going to solve anything.  Remember Proverbs 15:1 states that “…a soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger. “
  7. Propose a Solution:  After feelings have been expressed, a solution must be addressed.  If you and your friend have a different interpretation of resolution, then it may be best to come up with various plans of resolution until something can be adopted.  It has been said that there is ALWAYS a common ground solution, even past “…agreeing to disagree”.  If it is important enough a solution can be derived.  Don’t go into solution generation trying to WIN.  There are no winners.  The only win is to move past and reconcile conflict.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Matthew 5: 9

Stability

Recently, I’ve mentioned to several confidants that there is nothing in my life that is settled or has the feeling of stability. Whether relationships, work, my children, there is a huge amount  of uncertainty and Storm-like conditions!

In my mind, I have been waiting for the moment that things will settle down. Ever been there?

 It is imperative that we change the paradigms of how we think.

Instead of looking forward to something being settled and stable, I should pray and ask for the ability to become better to handle the situations at hand in the present.

As I told a friend recently, we should stop taking offense and asking why things are happening TO us, and start wondering and thinking God for why things are happening FOR us.

 God, help me conquer my existing instabilities. But even more, help me to understand that I will have a new set of milestones, a new plethora of uncertainties, and some more situations to overcome. Uncertainty and growth is inevitable if I want to progress and succeed to the full possibilities and purpose you have for my life.

Fear

with growth comes uncertainty, discomfort, and sometimes pain.

with uncertainty comes fear.

if you want a fearless life, don’t grow.  Stay the hell where you are!

Fear is a compass.  If we totally avoid fear, we can prevent our own growth. Fear again, is the precursor to change. If the fear does not cause mortal physical hurt, hit it head on and see what’s behind it.

The quality of your life is the quality of your relationship to uncertainty. – Tony Robbins