Life is messy! It’s never fun to face a conflict. It’s not something that we look forward to, however, it is something that is necessary for resolution and peace.
It’s not an easy task to show love in a conflict or be peaceful. If you are like me, you may be fearful to face conflict and try to avoid it all together. Don’t believe the lie that if you face the conflict, it will only make it worse. It’s actually better to face it head on and handle it well, then to avoid is all together.
What does that look like? Here are 3 ways we can be the voice of peace through the conflict:
- Do Not Make Assumptions
In James 4:11-12 it says that there is only one judge, and that is God. That being said, it’s not up to us to set the standards for others, but to instead obey what God has outlined in His Word. Remember, only He has the power to save or to destroy, not you.
He did not call us to condemn others, He says to love others. Galatians 5:14 it says to love your neighbor as yourself. When Jesus hung out with the outcasts of society and laid hands on the sick, He was showing us how to love.
When conflict arises, it is so easy to make assumptions about the people involved, right? It’s actually easier to judge and condemn them than it is to love them. The best way to bring peace to a situation is to show love instead. Things start to shift and transformation and healing can happen when you choose to do the opposite of how you feel and replace the negative with the positive, the lie with the truth.
Everyone has something they are going through! Next time you feel quick to make assumptions about someone, ask God these questions:
- God, how do you see the people involved?
- How can I see them how you see them?
Then ask God to show you how to love them through what they are going through and to have a posture of humility. It’s amazing what God can do when we turn the situation over to Him and allow Him to do the work for us!
It is crucial in conflict to know when to speak and when to listen. In Ephesians 4:29 it says, do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
A lot of the time in conflict, people just want to feel loved and heard. If you are not willing to listen to what they have to say, you can not reach a peaceful resolution. It’s not only important to listen but to also ask questions. Asking the right questions is a key component to resolving conflict.
These questions may differ with each situation but the object should be the same: to find peace and middle ground. Even if you don’t agree, it’s important to understand where the other person is coming from and why they feel the way that they do. If you feel like you or the others involved cannot do this well, I would suggest you get a mediator involved that you both trust.
Even if you aren’t in the actual conflict, but maybe a friend or family member is, it’s vital that you do not choose sides, but instead be loving and wise in what you say. Like I mentioned before, continue to ask questions so that you can get to the root of what is actually going on. Often you will find that what you or others are fighting about is not the actual issue. It can stem from a number of different things that happened in the past. It’s important to identify what that is and go from there.
If you are mediating conflict, it’s wise to counsel those who are unaware of what they are up against. Let me explain: some people are so involved in their own personal conflict and stuck in their heads and perspective that they may not even be aware of what they are actually fighting. Not only can it be a root issue, but also spiritual warfare. The enemy is very tricky in doing this. Sometimes he will whisper a tiny lie to us and if he gets us to believe it, we can possibly spiral out of control and simply believe things that aren’t true about what is going on.
3. Be in the Mess
God didn’t send His son Jesus on earth to take a vacation. Quite the opposite actually! He sent Him here to show us that He loves us, despite our mess! Jesus has been the only one to demonstrate perfect love to us, so that we may love each other in that way.
In my own personal life, I have always been more of the peacemaker. I used to shy away from conflict and be relativly passive about it. Not that I was unaware, I just didn’t want to deal with it, because it was messy, upsetting and really hard. Well, that’s life folks! It’s messy and not as perfect as we would like to pretend it is.
Havilah Cunnington, an author and speaker, said it very well, “If you have a spirit of fear on you, you don’t get to operate with the spirit of love, the spirit of power and the spirit of a sound mind.”
I challenge you ladies to be real with each other and love another through the conflict and the messiness, because that is where you find not only your true self, but God in the process!
How can you approach your next conflict with peace and love?
MELISSA NICHOLS IS A GUEST WRITER AND THE CREATOR OF THE INSPIRATIONAL BLOG, CLARA’S CONVERSATIONS. MELISSA LOVES TO WRITE ABOUT GOD’S HEART AND BELIEVES GOD IS RELATIONAL AND WANTS TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH US EVERYDAY. SHE ALSO LOVES ANYTHING WITH POLKA DOTS, DRINKING COFFEE AND RUMMAGING THROUGH ANTIQUE SHOPS. WANT TO READ MORE OF HER WRITING? CHECK OUT HER BLOG OR FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM @POLKADOTMEL.