Things I Have Learned from Conflict

James teaches us that trials lead us to become perfect and complete (James 1:2-4).  I say, Amen, to what James wrote.  Trials grow us like nothing else can, especially when the trial involves conflict.  Here is what I have learned from conflict in light of God’s Word.

I learned that most people have to blame someone

This started in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day (See Genesis 3).  Remember to listen to both sides before making a determination, especially if you are involved in the conflict.

I learned that people do sinful things because they are hurt.

Most people are not malicious.  They do unwise things because they are hurting.  Usually, they think they are doing what is right.  Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.”

I learned that we need to be careful what we say, especially in a public forum

James 1:19 says, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…”  Be very cautious in the use to things like Facebook, emails and Blogs.

I learned that there is usually a seed of truth in the accusations of others

Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)  He was admonishing those who judge and criticize others when they have bigger issues in their lives.  However, the one being critiqued still has a speck in their eye.  I learned to seek the truth in the things said about me.

I learned that we should desire peace and unity

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”  This is not advocating a “doormat” theology, but one of peace over revenge.  Our goal in a dispute should not just be to win, but to find healing and peace to the glory of God.

I learned that we should desire reconciliation

Matthew 18:15 states, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”  If someone sins against you, the goal is not to get even or justify yourself in the eyes of others, but to reconcile with the person.  Note the verse says to go them in private, which would exclude airing things on Facebook, etc.

I learned that we have no need to vindicate ourselves

Psalm 24:4-5 says, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.”

God is the Deliverer.  If we stand in the right, He will vindicate us.

I learned that we have no need to exact vengeance

“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord…” Romans 12:19-21.  Need I say more?

I learned that we are called to bless

Looking at the latter part of Romans 12-19-21, we learn that we are to overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:14 says that we are to “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Seeing as how there is conflict in my life right now, it gives me something to think about...