If you are experiencing conflict in any area of your life (let’s be honest… Don’t we all experience conflict on a regular basis?) I would highly recommend the book Resolving Everyday Conflict by Sande and Johnson. I had to read it for a Conflict Negotiation class and was pleasantly surprised that I LOVED this read! It is easy to understand and EXTREMELY applicable.
In this book, Sande and Johnson set up some simple ground rules to successfully deal with conflict in a God-honoring way. They call this easy method the “4 G’s” and use it to walk you through the conflict resolution process.
The first two G’s stood out to me because they are steps that are so easy to miss. They are to “Go higher” or seek God’s wisdom and “Get real” or own your part in a conflict.
How often do I jump into a conflict, guns blazing, without pausing to breathe and involve God and the Holy Spirit. Conflict handled without the foundation of the Gospel’s forgiveness and without the work of the Holy Spirit is bound to get messy… At least it does for me.
So often in a conflict I allow my emotions, my anxiety, my immediate reaction to take control. And at that point, I struggle to “Get real”. Either I go overboard and blame myself for everything (a major pity party that’s not healthy!) or I blame others for causing my emotions.
That’s not the right way to handle conflict.
I need to prayerfully seek God when conflict starts (this is so much easier said than done) and I need to take full responsibility for my feelings and my reactions. Often I expect other people to calm me down or make me feel better, but that is my responsibility. My emotions, my anxiety, my mental health, my restraint, my self-control: all MY responsiblity. (With that said… no one is perfect. Growing in these areas is a slow, painstaking process of sanctification done through the work of the Holy Spirit).
If you ever struggle with understanding your contribution to a conflict (no matter how “small” it may seem in comparison to others) I would encourage you to pray about it. Ask God to show you your faults and He will answer! He faithfully shoed me my tendancy to place the responsibility for my anxiety and emotions on other people — and he showed me that within a week of me asking!
What areas of your life do you need to take responsibility for? I challenge you to pray for God’s conviction this week: a prayer that is always answered and never easy to accept. Ask to “Get real” and see your short-comings, then “Go higher” and give your weaknesses completely to God!
But he [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV, clarification added
Read more about “Going higher” and “Getting real,” and discover the last 2 G’s of conflict resolution by checking out this awesome book by Sande and Johnson!