The dictionary defines ‘conflict’ as: ‘a struggle to resist or overcome; contest of opposing forces or powers; strife; battle. A state or condition of opposition; antagonism; discord. A painful tension set up by a clash between opposed and contradictory impulses.’ No matter how hard we try to avoid it, conflict periodically enters our lives.

Conflict causes most of us a great degree of discomfort, anger, frustration, sadness, and pain. In the workplace, a simple disagreement between team members, if unresolved, may escalate into the inability to work together, verbal assaults, and resentment. In the worst cases, it may also lead to hostility and eventual separation from the organization.

it is important that the conflict be resolved as soon as possible.

When one puts faith and trust in another, and that confidence is broken, it can create an emotional response that elevates to conflict. A person who is angry with someone else or even with God, may take it out on you. Other conflicts stem from rebellion against authority or emotional baggage from childhood or previous relationships.

How can we respond wisely to conflict?

  • Since conflicts have various causes, begin with seeking God to learn the source in each situation. Our natural reaction is to defend ourselves when attacked. Instead, let the other person talk, and sometimes he or she will reveal the root of the conflict.
  • (Psalm 141:3) says, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Do not blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Carefully consider what you are going to say, and ask God to provide you with a wise response.
  • If you were wrong, immediately apologize and ask for forgiveness. When you feel unjustly condemned, learn to say, “I thank you for bringing this to my attention. Do you have any other suggestions that would help me?” Humility is always the best approach to disagreements.
  • Even if the other person is at fault, forgive him for bringing conflict into your life (Eph. 4:32) “Be generous to each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. Jesus provided the perfect example of this.” (Luke 23:34) “During the crucifixion, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.
  • You may not know immediately why the Lord is allowing difficulty in your life. In time, however, you would be able to see what He accomplished through each situation you faced. Know this though, pain, suffering, and heartache, mature us spiritually and equip us to help others more effectively.

Conflict may be inescapable, but you and I can choose how to respond.

If you are unable to agree with the other person, do not feel like a failure. No one can force reconciliation, but you can choose to walk in forgiveness, regardless of any outcome. Ask God for wisdom, and He will be faithful to guide your steps. The Father wants our response to conflict to be a pure demonstration of His power and grace.
God Bless.

Image Credit: shutterstock/Sergey Nivens