Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to handle conflict

Life is full of conflict. All we have to do is be born and we will face it at some       time in our lives.

I have hurt people I deeply care about on accident before. It hurts me to see         them hurt. Honestly, I could never hurt someone on purpose. It is just not       in my nature to. 

Sometimes, we are the person who got hurt. Holding on to that pain and not         talking to the person about what happened is a bad idea. It will cause           your relationship to suffer greatly. That's why we need to communicate.

My Pastor's message Sunday was on conflict and how Jesus told us to               handle people in Matthew 18: 15-17.

Matthew 18: 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

When someone hurts you, this is a great way to handle it. 
(Notice I said, WHEN, not IF.)

A.    Describe what happened: Example: “You were on your phone when I was talking to you.”
B. Explain how it hurt: “ It made me feel like I am not important to you because you weren't listening to what I was saying.”
C.    Potential consequences: “If this keeps happening we will have a big distance between us.”
D.    Ask for change: “Next time we are talking, would you mind leaving your phone in the other room?”

There really are times in our lives when we do things that hurt people we care about. If we handle it correctly, we can keep the relationship in a good place. If handled incorrectly, we could cause division.

I am quick to apologize and make changes. I do not enjoy hurting people that I care about. I am a very loving, caring, compassionate person. So, just the fact of knowing I caused someone pain breaks my heart. 

I hope you are able to use this method of handling conflict. It is a very good way to deal with things.

One important point I would like to show you is in Matthew 18:17, where it says that after you follow all of the steps, and if they do not work, treat that person as a pagan or tax collector... remember this. We are quick to assume that Jesus meant to shun that person and never speak to them again. That's the total opposite of what He wants us to do. Jesus wants us to keep trying to win over that person. He doesn't want us to give up on them. 

Is there someone you need to talk to? Do it today!

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