What is to follow is definitely the most unique blog I have ever written.
I am learning some unexpected truths in recent weeks…
Unless I am missing something, there are only 2 basic ways to resolve conflict? 1) force/domination/control; 2) communication/mutual respect/compromise.
One requires manipulation, intimidation, selfishness, pride, and arrogance; the other requires selflessness, yielding, deferring, showing preference, humility & sobriety.
Which one sounds like Jesus?
Which one requires the Life of Jesus to be manifested, by Grace, in my life?
For any conflict to be resolved, both parties must have an abiding attitude of Biblical repentance: my ways & my thoughts, are NOT God’s ways & God’s thoughts. In fact my ways and thoughts are contradictory to His. Possessing a foundational attitude that my ways and my thoughts are “wrong” will go a long way in resolving conflict. But – as will life in general – we don’t really believe we are wrong… Do we?
No one enjoys conflict. Yet, conflict is clearly a natural part of life.
To see conflict resolved, both parties have to be willing to lay down “self” at the negotiation table and both must approach resolution with a willingness to “take all the blame” (if both are willing, then in the end, neither will have to).
Hidden (or not so hidden) agendas have to be abandoned, and both parties must want the good of the other, above their own good. Coming to the table – reserving force or control as a possible option “if all else fails” – will not produce lasting results (at least not godly results). It is better to come to the table willing to accept your own defeat, than to come resolved that “at all costs” you will settle the matter!
So there are two problems with this: 1) I have to have these qualities in me; 2) The other person has to have these qualities in them (and technically a third problem when we accept that we only have control over our own qualities).
What are we to do then, if we don’t see signs of these qualities in the other party? Seems to me, all I can do is to diligently ask God to work the qualities in me, and as He does – sit back, wait and trust, and see what He does in the other party…
Just sitting here pondering the hurts, pain, wounds and scars of much unresolved conflict around me….
P.S. Also, remember, there is only one Being who can persuade change in the heart of a person, and it isn’t me nor you – we are at the mercy of the Grace of God alone…. Just the way He wants it!