Ten Responses To Conflict

Leading Like Jesus FREE on Kindle today!!!  Click here to check it out! In my book Leading Like Jesus, I go through a Biblical approach to dealing with conflict. Here is a short portion of that chapter…

“It is hard to accept a conflict as unresolvable, but once we prayerfully come to that realization, it allows us to work through our part of it without unnecessary guilt or pressure. Paul and Barnabas never fully resolved their conflict over John Mark. The Bible does not justify the conflict; neither does it condemn either Paul or Barnabas.

How should we respond to a seemingly unresolvable conflict?

  1. Be secure in yourself. Jesus maintained a peaceful demeanor. When you are in turmoil, go back to God.
  2. Don’t react emotionally. Stay prayerful and practice the fruit of the Spirit. If you go on the warpath to attack others or defend yourself, no good will come of it.
  3. When you do respond, be concise and straightforward. Don’t offer explanations - you don’t owe them to people accusing you in the wrong spirit.
  4. Don’t draw attention to yourself. You are not the issue, even though others may target you or attack you. It may be an issue of incompatible vision or incongruent values, but don’t make yourself the issue.
  5. If given the opportunity, and you feel a release to do so, describe the issue clearly as you understand it. But only do this because you are led to speak about the topic calmly and in a respectful manner.
  6. Ask for a decision or response. It is not wrong to set a time frame for dealing with the issue. To drag it out may lead to an ongoing, unhealthy debate. Ask God to bring it to a head so everyone can move on with their lives.
  7. Ask people outside the situation to provide objective feedback. When faced with a conflict, I sought out unbiased, respected leaders to help me objectively assess myself and my responses. They offered affirmation, as well as feedback on my attitudes and actions. I also asked a trusted advisor to fly in and spend the day doing an “emotional and spiritual audit” on my heart. He asked very probing questions that I spent months reflecting on.
  8. Trust God to defend you. God may test you and allow you to be falsely accused, but someday the truth will come out. Keep your eyes on the Lord and be more concerned with what God thinks of you than what people think or say.
  9. Make up your mind to speak well of others. It is true - what we sow, we reap. This is not only true of sinful actions and words, but it is also true if we speak well of others we disagree with.
  10. Take time for your heart to be healed before you move into the next season. If you don’t, you might carry with you unresolved pain and bitterness towards others. This doesn’t have to mean waiting years for God to heal your heart. It could be as simple as winning the battle of forgiveness and laying down your rights - no matter how painful it my be - then moving on.”

Also available in paperback at YWAM Publishing here