You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘conflict’ tag.


“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. Matthew 18:15

conflictEach of us have gone through those periods of time when relationships fail. Those relationships that are closest are the most painful to lose. Some translations leave out the phrase “against you”. Others include it. In reality, as followers of Jesus it doesn’t really matter if the wrong is committed against you (most painful) or against others. Either way, the offense is destined to hurt a brother or sister in Christ and others!

So what do we do? It’s easy enough to say we need to pray. Sometimes prayer is a scapegoat and can be better paraphrased as “I don’t want to get personally involved” or “I hate conflict” or “It’s really none of my business, it’s God’s job to do the work.”

There is some truth to each of these excuses. But, the reality is, Jesus never shied away from involving himself in the ugly part of ugly people’s lives. Aren’t we called to do the same?

Here are some suggestions for what may help. I’ll say up front that I’m still working on these in my life and it’s not easy. I have a long way to go! Praise Jesus for grace!

Pray: This is the obvious but be specific. Pray for your wisdom. Pray for the welfare of the one who wronged you or who is in danger of hurting themselves or others. Pray FOR them, not ABOUT them. Remember prayer is a two way conversation with the wisest, most loving being in the universe!

Reflect: This mixes in easily with prayer. As you are praying ask God to reveal anything YOU may have done to bring on this situation. Rather than focus on what the person did, try to ascertain why the person may have acted as he did. Most of the time, actions are a symptom, not the disease.

Ask: This is a tricky one and must be used with the utmost care and wisdom. If you have a close friend you can trust to make sure this goes no further, ask them for insight into the situation. Be careful not to turn this into a gossip session!!

Restore: Restoration demands action! To be done well, restoration is done with love. It can’t be hurried. First attempts often fail. Compassion and patience are the two best tools to use. If at all possible, refrain from step four until steps 1-3 are firmly in place!

Rest: The Psalmist states that during the storm we rest in the arms of almighty God. Remember that once we have done all we can to lovingly, gracefully and compassionately strive for resolution, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of healing.

PRAYER: Father God. Right now, I pray for those with whom I am in conflict and those I’m concerned about because they are in danger of destroying themselves or others. Give me wisdom to know what I need to do to begin the healing process. Help me follow you. Amen.

 


Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12

Many years ago I Proverbs 10 12was playing on a church softball team. It was our first year playing in the league and we weren’t very good. Most of our players were young teens, some had never really played ball.

One week we were playing one of the better teams in the league and, as expected, it wasn’t much of a game. On one particular play a rather large woman on the other team was running from first to second. Our second base-person, a small 12-year-old girl, was just getting ready to catch the ball and make the play at the base when she was completely flattened by the base runner, jarring the ball loose so that she arrived safely on base. Fair play? Yes. Appropriate under the conditions, I thought not.

I went out to help the girl up and make sure she was okay. As I left I had a few choice, not exactly Christian, words for the base runner who was now standing smugly on base. The guy who was with me grabbed my arm and helped me off the field as the woman said “Hey, it was her fault. She was in the baseline.”

I stood in the dugout seething about the dangerous play and smug attitude of the base-runner until a small voice inside reminded me that ‘Hatred stirs up dissension’. My anger turned to conviction for my words and as the inning ended I headed out to the field. I took a slight side trip and walked by the opposing dugout, not to get a parting shot, but to apologize to Joyce, the base-runner.

The next day at work I was talking with a friend of mine who happened to have been playing on the other team the night before. In the course of our conversation he chuckled and said “Boy, you really sent Joyce spinning last night.”

I asked what he meant and he explained that Joyce didn’t have much respect from anyone on the team. They were all angry with her behavior the night before and she had done similar things in other games. But after I apologized for my outburst she walked around the rest of the game asking ‘Why did he say that?’ ‘Why did he apologize.’

My words of apology had sent a message far deeper into her soul than the outburst I’d sent her way earlier.

There are always going to be people in our lives that hurt us. There will always be those who betray us, lie to us and in some way abuse us. When we’ve been wronged the easy way out is to become angry, defensive and full of hate. The healthy way out is to practice forbearance. By definition forbearance means to have patience, self-control, restraint and tolerance. Forbearance doesn’t mean I agree with the way you are. It doesn’t mean I’ll trust you again. It doesn’t mean what you did doesn’t matter.

What forbearance does mean is that in the name of love I will forgive you. Forgiveness is for the benefit of the one wronged, not the perpetrator of the hurt. In other words, I forgive you for what you did to me so I can be healthy.

Forbearance can’t be practiced effectively without help from the Holy Spirit of God. When we are in tune with our Heavenly Father; when we live in recognition of the pain he bore, the patience he has with us; the power we have available to us through his Spirit, then, and only then can we live at peace with those who we don’t agree with or oppose us.

May each of us learn to daily live in the power of forbearance!

PRAYER: Father God, I pray for those of us who are living under the weight of abuse and hurt. I ask that through the power of your Spirit we may be able to be patient with those who fail us; live a life of self-control when we’d rather lash out; and live in tolerance of those who have different beliefs than ours. In a word, Lord, help us to live in a way that your unconditional love will shine out to others. In Jesus Name, Amen.


And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (NIV)

Conflict is inevitable. You probably didn’t need to have someone tell you that! From the beginning of time conflict has been a part of human existence. It’s not ‘IF’ you will experience conflict but when you experience conflict and how you deal with it that matters.

Conflict is defined as, “The competitive or opposing action of incompatibles; an antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons).”

From a human perspective, conflict had its origins in the Garden of Eden. The first person to experience conflict was Eve. The serpent (Satan) not only questioned her regarding God’s commands, he brought conflict into her mind.  For perhaps the first time she was faced with opposing viewpoints. Up to this time we can only surmise that obedience (based on a passionate love relationship with her creator) was unquestioned. When you begin to question God, you leave room for conflict.

The next significant act of conflict wasn’t with God, but with fellow man. In an act of jealous rage, Cain killed his brother Abel. The rest is, as they say, history. Conflict, whether between men or men with God really has the same motivating force: the desire for peace within our soul. We may be led to believe the lie that the hunger for peace in our soul can be quenched by new relationships, new career paths or a bigger bank account. We may try to drown the pain of that hole by chemicals or religious experience, but until our hearts are right with God, nothing will work.

Now for the good news. Your heavenly Father wants to restore the lost relationship.  Colossians 1:19-20 states, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

What this means is that through Jesus Christ, God wants to restore the relationship we lost in the garden. Furthermore, Philippians 4:7 reminds us that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus Christ opens the path to a new, vibrant relationship with God. When that happens and we grow to completeness through Christ, his peace will guard our soul, our emotions, or feelings. It will work towards conquering the fear, worry, anger, hate and frustration of human conflict.

Will making our relationship with God cure our human conflicts? Unfortunately not. But having a right relationship with God opens the door to healthier relationships as we learn to lean on him and trust him with our hearts.

Let the peace of Jesus calm you as you grow in relationship to him. Daily give him control of your relationships so he can protect your soul from the attacks of conflict. May the following prayer empower you to peace in the midst of conflict.

PRAYER: Father God. I thank you for the restoration of a love relationship I can have with you through Jesus Christ. Empower me to rest on you in the midst of the human conflict I am facing. May the peace only Jesus can offer strengthen me. Amen.


The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

Every day we encounter situations which can affect our entire outlook on life. One negative comment can send us scrambling for shelter like a frightened armadillo or startled turtle. It can be something as simple as a cross word spoken or a misunderstanding of the meaning behind something we hear.

When we fight the world’s battles with the worlds weapons defeat is inevitable. How we react to daily situations in our lives can have a lasting effect on how we feel about ourselves and what we can accomplish in life. A parent’s disappointment in us can affect us well into adulthood and even affect how our children feel about themselves. It isn’t the obstacles in life that determine our success or failure. How we view of ourselves is more often the determining factor between success and failure.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the weapons we have to fight life’s battles aren’t the same weapons the world uses. The weapons of the world are destructive. The obvious weapons of physical warfare are easy to see and while they can cause death and destruction, the unseen weapons of the world are in some ways more destructive because they don’t leave bruises or blood, only inner pain.

Because of Jesus we can overcome these weapons or strongholds of criticism, judgmental attitudes, vindictive rumors and the like. When we listen to the attacks of the enemy and allow them to determine how we see ourselves, depression, poor self-esteem and discouragement are bound to follow and have detrimental effects on our relationships.

The divine weapons we have been given offer life not destruction, healing not wounding, building up, not tearing down. They are based on God’s view of us and not the view we or others have of us. When I see myself as God sees me it doesn’t matter how others view me! Other people see my failures, my mistakes, and my faults. God sees me as His beloved Child. He looks at me through His Son, Jesus.

Don’t allow the weapons of the world to thwart Gods power to attain the life you want to have. The abusive words and actions of those in your past can be set aside as you pursue all that God has for you in Christ Jesus. With the weapons we have we can overcome the strongholds the world would like to place on us.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to see myself as you see me and not be affected by the negative and destructive actions of those in the world. Empower me through your Spirit to lift the fallen, encourage the weary and patiently bear with those intent on my demise. Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,715 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.
  • RESET Your Life When You Doubt
    From our series, “Reset your Life”. Jesus understands the struggle we have between head belief and heart belief.
  • RESET Your Life When all is Hopeless
    From our series “RESET Your Life.” Never give up hope. Jesus knows where you are and what your need is. Hopelessness; John 5:1-15;
  • Reset your Life When You’re Grieving
    From our series ‘Reset Your Life”. Sometimes RESET comes from outside sources. Jesus shows us the way through grief.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: