January 6, 2009

Do good and communicate!

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

The above quote is a complicated way of saying, "There's been a misunderstanding." And misunderstandings happen in life - a lot. That's why communication is extremely important in every avenue of life. I found a set of notes that really had an impact on my life and my relationships. It did me good to read them again and I thought I'd share the wisdom with all my blogger friends!
How to Resolve Conflict
Colossians 3:12-14

The root of conflict = personal differences, offenses, pride, and carnality.

Thoughts that lead to conflict and thoughts that avoid conflict:
  • That's ridiculous! ~ He may have a point.
  • I'll do what I want. ~ I don't have to have my way.
  • How dare he! ~ We need to pray.
  • He's crazy. ~ I don't need to retaliate, what would the Lord do?
  • My way is most important! ~ What's important to him?
  • My feelings matter most. ~ His feelings matter, too.
  • My rights. ~ His rights.
  • My expectations. ~ His expectations.
  • My needs. ~ His needs.
  • My plans. ~ His plans.
Remember I Corinthians 13:5, "...charity seeketh not her own..."

How To Resist Conflict

The sinful way to resist conflict
  • Silence.
  • Separation (cold shoulder, avoidance, etc.).
  • Unwillingness to talk.
The spiritual way to resist conflict
  • Consider the other person's perspective.
  • Clarify (repeat back) what you heard and don't jump to conclusions - Pro. 18:13
  • Communicate your love and care.
  • Listen more than you speak - Pro. 10:19; James 1:19
  • Approach the person in love, preferring the other more than self - Romans 12:10
  • Seek counsel from the Scriptures.
  • Commit to God's glory; determine that good will come from the situation.
But what if the conflict already exists? Here's how to resolve existing conflict:

Sinful ways to resolve existing conflict:
  • Going to bed angry - Eph. 4:26 "Be ye angry and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath."
  • Pretending the offense never happened (this leads to superficial relationships).
  • Transferring your responsibility for humility to the other person.
Spiritual ways to resolve existing conflict:
  • Seek God's forgiveness. "Humble yourselves..." I Peter 5:6
  • Seek the person's forgiveness. Again, "Humble yourselves..."
  • Schedule a good time to communicate abut the conflict. Psalm 34:14, "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." What a GREAT verse!
  • Pray for self-control and don't raise your voice.
  • Be sensitive about your communication: Speak plainly; be quick to hear, speak the truth in love and for the glory of God.
  • Submit to one another.
Submit to one another?? How do we do that??
  • Discover what you agree upon and what your differences are. Define the issue you are facing and find out why it has become a conflict: is it a preference, is it a sin, is it a convenience issue, is it a wisdom issue, etc.
  • Ask yourselves what steps you can take to resolve the issue and be willing to give and take; work together!
  • Review your progress as necessary.
  • End your discussion with prayer and an expression of love.
These notes (thank-you, Pastor Graf!) contain some of the best, most applicable, fruit-bearing wisdom two people can apply to their marriage. And not marriage only, but also parent/child relationships, work relationships, etc. Is it easy to apply? No, it's not easy; but it is possible when one is filled with the Spirit and is seeking to please and glorify God. And it's WORTH it!

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." I Peter 5:6


cheryl said...

Thanks Mary, it is good for ME to review things over and over again.
Such great teaching we receive!!!
Thanks again.

Jessica R. said...

thanks for sharing Mary, you're right, its not easy, but its very worth it!

Anonymous said...

thank you mrs e and brother e for the very nice and thoughtful birthday card!


Tim and Lex said...

What a powerful post Mrs. E

Thank you for sharing all this valuable wisdom. Very good for starting the New Year off right!

Love you.