One of the most important life skills that you have to learn is conflict resolution. If you don't, you're going to spend a lot of your life miserable, because we're imperfect people, and we have conflict almost every day of our lives.
If you want to resolve conflict, you're going to have to make the first move. That means you're going to have to ask for God's help, because it takes courage to approach someone you are in conflict with and tell that person you want to sit down and work it out.
Then, you don't start with what the other person has done wrong. You don't start with a bunch of accusations or ways you've been hurt. You start with what's your fault.
The conflict might be 99.99% the other person's fault. But you can always find something to confess! Maybe it was your poor response, even if it came out of defensiveness. Maybe it was your attitude. Maybe it was the way you walked away.
You have weaknesses in your life that others see clearly but you've never seen. Those are your blind spots. You have weaknesses you're clueless about. That's why you need to come to conflict resolution with a humble heart and begin with your own faults.
Jesus said, "Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? ... You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend's eye" (Matt. 7:3, 5 NCV).
He's saying you need to confess your part of the conflict first. What's the piece of wood in your eye that is keeping you from seeing the situation clearly? Don't start with the other person and all the ways they've hurt you until you've confessed your part of the conflict first.
Did you cause conflict by being insensitive? Or were you overly sensitive? Did you not show compassion for the person who was hurting? Were you being overly demanding? What are your blind spots? Once you figure them out and confess them, you'll be ready for the next step in conflict resolution.
Talk It Over
- What keeps us from seeing our own sin clearly?
- How do you think it affects the other person when you start conflict resolution with confession rather than accusations?
- How will you move forward with resolving a conflict in your life? How will you make the first move?
Give hope, prayer and encouragement below.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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