Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. While I do have a masters degree in counseling, the purpose of this blog is not to provide counseling. The purpose of this blog is to offer tips to deal with the frustrations of life. When it comes to your mental health, please seek professional counsel if you feel necessary.
Hey Thursday! It’s been 7 whole days and not a word from you. 7 whole nights and I’m just about through. *I feel a Toni Braxton in my pinky sha ba ta ha*
It’s my favorite day of the week and its time to do some therapy. I have been debating about what to speak on all week. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to post a live video or type up this blog. And if you are reading this, I might be doing both. In the meantime, lets talk about conflict resolution.
No matter how meek, humble, kind, or Christ-like you are, you will encounter conflict. It may occur on your job, at your church, in you family, or with your friends. Where ever it occurs, how you handle it will determine the health and state of the relationship.
What I have realized about conflict over the years, is that most of it boils down to miscommunication. Usually, it’s two people who failed to see the story the same way, or at least agree to respect each other, while disagreeing with each other’s opinion. In reality, peace is much more easier to obtain than we think. We just need the courage to make it.
The Bible gives us the perfect blueprint for dealing with conflict. This principle works no matter what you believe, or who you are. It requires two simple things, love and maturity.
Matthew 18: 15-20 (NKJV)
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
Conflict resolution is done in three stages.
- Address the person: Often times we deal with conflict by telling others the issue we have instead of telling the person we actually have the issue with. In addressing the person first, offense can be defeated with love. This stops offense from growing into rejection and bitterness. Talk with the person one on one first. If that works, you have gained a friend. But if not, try stage 2.
- Get a mediator/ neutral party involved: Sometimes it’s hard to communicate with the person who has offended you. You can unintentionally throw javelins when you intend to extend peace. This is why a neutral party, such as a peer, coworker, pastor, or therapist is helpful. They have the ability to guide us back to establishing peace, versus establishing who is right or wrong. If that still doesn’t resolve the issue, try stage 3.
- Bring them before the church: In many cases, the conflict won’t actually happen at church. So I first want to start by establishing what the church is. The church is the place of judgement. It is the court room. At your job, the court room maybe the supervisors office. In your home, the court room maybe a family meeting. At your local church, the court room maybe the Pastor’s office. This is the place where a final decision is made. Once the verdict is given, both parties have a responsibility to forgive and move on together, or forgive and part ways in peace.
Dealing with conflict is not easy, but it is necessary. I hope that this helps you to live a life filled with peace. I want to challenge you to be the peacemaker in all situations. For Matthew 5:9 (NKJV) says “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Choose to always be a Son!
Shanithia “HyQuality” Kendrick