Mark reminds us of a few helpful, biblical principles about conflict resolution.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
More than likely each one of us is currently dealing with some degree of interpersonal conflict… could be within our family, friends, neighbors or even our church.
So today, I’d like to remind us of a few helpful, biblical principles about conflict resolution.
I believe Ephesians 6:12 gives us the preemptive understanding we need to know… it says “that our struggle is not against flesh and blood” but rather against evil forces.
My battle is NOT against my wife, my child, my boss, an employee or quite frankly ANY person as contrary as that might seem, rather a spiritual battle and hence the motivating question that helps me proceed correctly is “do I want to give the ‘Forces of Darkness’ some victory points?”
If “no” is your answer as well, then let’s follow these divine directives to help prevent that from happening:
“First take the spec out of your own eye” (Matt. 7:3-5) by asking God what your part of the error is and use that as your humble, lead communication piece. More than likely we have some fault in the conflict, and them hearing us confess will certainly soften their heart.
Have your conversation in a private place that will help pride from flaring up. Ideally do it in a timely manner, “before the sun goes down” (Eph. 4:26), so even more of your peace isn’t robbed by the Evil one.
James 1 instructs us to be “slow to speak and quick to listen” – show that you care more about them and their feelings or position rather than your own and help restore them by displaying a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1): uninterrupted listening, caring eyes, and a tender tone of voice will turn away wrath.
Do you approach conflict with others as a spiritual battle that will either be victorious for God or Satan (Eph 6:12)?
Identify someone you have conflict with and use Psalm 139:23,24 as a guide for understanding in your error, what can you admit to them as your error?
Ask your spouse or a trusted friend to suggest a demeanor you could display more Christlikeness in during conflict.
After apologizing to someone, have you taken the extra step to ask them if they will forgive you? How did it go?
When you conflict with someone think through what you could possibly ask forgiveness for. This might be really tough, but it’s really worth it!
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