Most conflicts can be solved rather easily, but unfortunately most conflicts are exaggerated or blown out of proportion just as easily. What may start out as a small disagreement, can easily turn into pure utter turmoil if we’re not careful.
So before you allow conflict to ruin a relationship, take a look at these five helpful ways to handle conflict:
1. Get a grip on your emotions
Emotions can be deceiving as Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” It can ruin relationships easily once you allow your negative emotions to control you.
When facing conflict, you have to decide how you are going to respond. Are you going to build or destroy? If you choose to build, then you must learn to handle your emotions. Don’t let your emotions cause you to respond negatively.
2. Don’t get sucked in
In times of conflict, there are people who will attempt to tear you down, but Christ tells us not to retaliate with anger by fighting fire with fire. He also instructs us to only fight the good fight of faith. Satan will always try to find a way to destroy you; he will use people to test your character. But you have to bear in mind that you don’t have to fight in every battle you’re invited to. Sometimes it’s best just to hold your peace.
3. Choose love
Choose love because that’s what Jesus demands of us: to love unconditionally. Though it’s painful, we should choose to love through the pain. Never sow anger and bitterness because what you sow, you will reap, so choose to sow love. I know all too well that some people make it painfully hard to love them, but don’t let them block your blessings.
4. Pray about it
If you have exhausted all efforts, prayed about it, and still nothing seems to change, don’t lose hope. Perhaps it’s not yet the right time, but stay hopeful.
Pray for the people who have hurt you and also the people you have hurt. Pray that God will intervene and speak to them just as He is speaking to you.
5. Forgive your offenders
You may be in a tough and painful situation now, but always remember how Jesus responded to His enemies. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots.” – Luke 23:24
It may be hard but choose to forgive. At least try. Pray about it. You won’t be able to do it on your own. Free your heart from grudges and allow peace to enter your spirit. Forgiveness will give you the inner peace that you will need to move beyond conflicts.
If you are in the middle of conflict, just remember to be still and let God bring peace into your situation. Everything will surely come to pass.
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:3)
Whatever situation you are in right now, no matter how bad it may seem, let your situation draw you closer to the Lord and make your faith stronger.