Even as Christians, we know that as unwelcome and difficult as it may be, conflict is a reality of life. There are all kinds of conflicts, including personality, financial, legal, marital, parent-child, and workplace. The response to conflict is also varied: some people avoid conflict at all cost, while others cause conflict, fan the flames or exploit conflict. Some maturely confront conflict under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Those Christians demonstrate the peacemakers we are called to be, engaging in heartfelt conflict resolution. To resolve conflict, we are to:
- Be Personable. We are to go to the person involved in our conflict, conveying the sense of importance. It also allows for us to read and be read by the other person, improving communication.
- Be Polite. The scriptures advise that a gentle, soft answer turns away much wrath, and that the fruit of the spirit is gentleness, kindness and self-control. Being polite conveys respect for the person and the process of resolution.
- Be Patient. We are to be good listeners, repeating or restating what the other has said so there is agreement, asking questions for clarity. We are to patiently seek the facts, affirming truths and learning the hurts, and thus clarify the disagreements. We must also be open to questions and confess any wrongdoing and seek forgiveness for such. We are to exhibit integrity, honesty, maturity, compassion and charity, while recognizing resolution requires both parties to fully and honestly to participate. If reconciliation is still not possible since both parties do not agree, we can be at peace knowing we did our best.