A few things I have learned, sometimes the hard way, about resolving relational conflict:

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Recognize that time is short and none of us are promised tomorrow. Avoiding the person is not the same as reconciling. Stubbornly ignoring the problem could result in never getting back to a healthy relationship if we won’t take steps now. 🌿

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart…” Hebrews 3:15 

Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. Is it possible that in their shoes, you’d feel the same way? Have you considered how they arrived at their conclusion? Was a word misspoken or an action misunderstood? Communication is key, and simple clarification may resolve the entire thing. 🌿

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility and patience.” Colossians 3:12

We must not squander the gift of being able to ask God to help us. He longs for us to come to Him- He doesn’t want us languishing in broken relationships, and He alone can touch hearts. The first step we take should be that of getting down on our knees to send prayers up to God asking Him to do what only He can: soften our heart as well as the other person’s, asking His favor, grace and healing. 🌿

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” I John 5:14 

Sometimes conflict is the result from being treated unfairly. Is there any lesson to be learned by going through an unjust hurt or trial? I believe so- it helps emphasize our own sin before a perfect and Holy God. It also can be a vehicle to build a deeper trust in God as we wait for Him to work on our behalf. 🌿

“Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.” Proverbs 20:22

Recognize that we all have different perspectives and opinions. Non-essentials like preferences should not take precedence over unity, especially between followers of Christ. 🌿

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

If the conflict is between a believer in Christ and a non-believer, we cannot expect them to hold to our same beliefs. Pray for their salvation, knowing that the work of the Holy Spirit alone can adequately convict a person’s heart. 🌿

“The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” 2 Corinthians 4:4 

Believe the best about the other person. They’re not in our life for nothing. We all have redeeming qualities, as well as weaknesses. Choose not to fixate on their faults, just as we hope they don’t fixate on ours. 🌿

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11 

If at all possible, meet in person. Going the extra mile to meet face to face reflects a heart that is eager to seek reconciliation. Texting and phone calls don’t allow the mutual benefit of reading body language and expression, which can go far in helping convey not only repentance, but also sincerity and forgiveness. We cannot underestimate the ability to offer physical signs of affection. Hugs and handshakes offer their own powerful form of healing. 🌿. 

“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 

Don’t deviate from the main point of the disagreement. Bringing up old hurts that have been dealt with will only cause more damage. Keep the past in the past and your eyes on the task in front of you: resolving the problem before the chasm between you grows. 🌿

“As much as it lies within you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18

Own our part in the problem and leave room to admit it if we were wrong. Be willing to move into the space of humility and pray that the other person’s heart softens in response. 🌿

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves…” Philippians 2:1-3 

Be eager to embrace the gift of apology. Being a Peacemaker is a beautiful thing in God’s sight. Even if the bulk of the fault lies with the other person, it will not hurt us to be the first to move toward apologizing and reconciliation; in fact, we will be blessed for doing so. 🌿

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 

Forgiveness is crucial. Do not dwell on what has been resolved. Move forward, grateful to have it behind you, and eager to look for ways to show evidence of a forgiving spirit. 🌿

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if anyone has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 

Nurture what has been newly planted with care and tenderness. If a relationship has suffered, lavish it with gentleness and love, not allowing it to fall into disrepair again. 🌿

“Be kind one to another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

If the other person refuses to reconcile, accept it with graciousness, recognizing that such undemanding kindness may pave the way for a future day. Let them know you will patiently wait for them to be ready. Pray for them. Don’t speak poorly of them. Don’t grow bitter. Use the time while waiting to prepare for the day that hopefully they’ll be ready to talk. Show love and respect, and trust that God will work out the details in His time and His way. 🌿

“A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18

 

Dear Lord, give us teachable hearts, and a commitment to do what is right. Generously pour on us a compassion for those that are also walking this journey of life. May we spill over with forgiveness since we ourselves have been forgiven much. Help us stay steady in trial, hopeful in hurt and anchored in our trust of You and Your plan for our lives. In the matchless name of Jesus, I pray, Amen 🌿🙏🏻

 

 

 

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