Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God according to Mathew 5:9. Are you a peacemaker or are you always in the middle of conflict? As I grow older, I try to avoid all conflict to enjoy a peaceful life. Oh believe me, in my younger day I was not only in the middle of conflict but I was the conflict creator. Those days are long gone and I would like to share with you what I have learned about being a peacemaker following God’s way.
When you find yourself in conflict I would like to suggest that you be the kinder person and make to first move to resolve the conflict. Many people say, “Time heals all wounds” but it doesn’t heal hurt and conflict. Medically, time does heal physical wounds but it does nothing but create deeper conflict with emotional wounds. The longer you go without resolution the harder it is to reconcile. When you step up and take the emotion out of the conflict and work through the problem at hand you will find resolution more quickly.
I know most people think that if they make the first move they are admitting fault. Nothing is farther from the truth. They are putting fault to the side to get back to a good place in their relationship and move forward with life. Fault has no place in conflict it only adds another negative property to conflict.
When you live in conflict you are blocking your happiness, your prayers and your fellowship with God. You cannot experience these three things when you live in conflict. We all want to be happy and have our prayers answered but when you are agree at others and not loving one another it blocks our blessings. We also can’t stay in a good relationship with our Almighty Father when we are at war with others.
It is so important that you ask God for His wisdom whenever you need it. Conflict is definitely a place where you need it. In today’s world we always have a source for the Bible at our fingertips. We have the actual Bible as well as Google to find the biblical teaching we need immediately. His wisdom when followed gets us through all conflicts. There is no excuse not to stop and read His Word when we need it.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Many of us want to find outside blame for conflict. We are so fearful of being wrong or imperfect that we ignore our part in the conflict. The main reason for conflict is we have become a very self-centered world thinking nothing can be wrong with us. If we look inward instead of outward we can come to peace with our shortcomings and be more peaceful with ourselves leading to easier resolution. I personally find when I am at more at peace with myself I have less conflict. When I live in God I don’t recognized petty issues leading to conflict.
I have found people who divorce nowadays think it is easier to give up on a relationship than it is to resolve their conflicts with their spouse. Think about all the time that has been invested in building that relationship and how much time will need to be invested in finding another spouse. I am not saying to stay with someone that is abusive for the sake of investment. What I am saying is God placed that person in front of you for a reason whether is it for love or for a lesson I cannot say but think deeply before throwing it away!
I want to emphasis that in conflict resolution is it critical to hear why the other is hurting and what their perspective is on the conflict. Notice I said to hear, not listen. Hearing is letting the words penetrate into your brain while not thinking of your response. Listening is half heartedly hearing words while your brain is thinking about how you are going to respond. Hearing only comes with a sincere heart and both ears.
Here is an exercise I like to recommend if two people are too immersed in the conflict to hear the other person. Find something very endearing to both of you let’s say you child’s baby blanket you wrapped him or her in after they were born. The blanket you both felt the first time you held your newborn blessing. This should be related to a time of wonder and love after the birth of the child. One person holds the blanket and speaks without being interrupted. The other person quiets their mind to hear what is being said. Then switch after 3 minutes allowing the other to speak. This will require great practice. Focus on holding the blanket, speaking kindly yet honestly to work towards resolution.
People say the most hurtful things when they are hurting the most. Remember this and practice kindness and hear.
Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
It is so important to choose your words to be softer and kinder to be heard, Don’t ever threaten when you are in conflict. Many married couples throw around leaving or divorcing when they are in conflict. These words become meaningless when thrown around carelessly. We all remember the little boy that cried “WOLF” multiple times for attention and then when he truly needed help when the wolf arrived no one listened. It is the same with your words. Use them only when you mean them. Don’t shout out words for shock value or to create fear in the other person.
There needs to be a list of words that are off limits for when you are in conflict. Words like fault, blame, name calling and hate. Your words may be different but please make the list. Also agree the past cannot be brought up. What happened has happened and nothing can be done about it. Also refrain from cussing at one another since this in no way is helpful.
I would like to recommend if you can’t resolve conflict then focus on reconciliation. I don’t mean giving in to get back together. I mean reconcile in your heart that you are both good people with good intentions and make peace with that. There may be times you can’t resolve the conflict and God may be moving you in a different direction. Trust in God’s will.
I am living in a place that is pretty conflict free right now because I realize I want to live in God’s Word and not my own understanding. If you are currently in conflict with someone, release the hurt and ask God to take over. All my love-LoLo