Resolve Conflict to Restore Relationships – ETB #106

You can’t ignore conflict and have that conflict just disappear. You also can’t resolve conflict by addressing it straight up. Working out conflicts is a complex process. Let’s talk through some ways that you can better handle conflict resolution, whether the person on the other side is your child, your spouse, your friend, or your coworker. The goal is to resolve conflict to restore relationships.

What to Do When You’ve Caused Conflict

Sometimes we hurt someone else’s feelings. We say things we flat out shouldn’t have said or maybe a joke didn’t land right with another person. Here are some practical things you can do whether your actions or words were intentional or whether they were misunderstood.

  1. Don’t ignore the conflict.
  2. Ask God how you can handle it.
  3. Pay attention to your timing.
  4. Pay attention to the words you use.

Consider the receiver, the person who has been offended. What is the best way that you can communicate with this person? You’ll find that reconciliation and restoration come so much more easily when you think about these things. You have to be the one to lead with humility. Show the other person that you care and you want to work through the misunderstanding to eliminate hindrances to your relationship.

Remember: you are not responsible for how the other person receives this from you. It is your responsibility to initiate and try to make it better. Try to see through their lens. Put forth the effort.

What to Do When You are the Offended

Let’s turn the tables. How should you respond when you are the person who has been offended by someone else’s words or actions? First, consider the source. If the goal is relationship, then go to that person, giving them the benefit of the doubt, and ask them about the situation. Explain how what happened is now straining your relationship with them. You may still have to be the initiator of this process when you’re the person who has been offended.

Forgiveness

What do you do when the other person isn’t aware they’ve done something to offend you? What about when you’ve hurt someone else and they don’t believe you when you go to them for reconciliation? Remember this verse:

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18 NKJV

Wounds can take time to heal. Sometimes that healing is very slow. You have to forgive and not hold on to the offense. Then prayerfully consider what your next steps are. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be hurt again, but also remembering that hurt is an unfortunate part of being in relationships with others.

Resolve Conflict: The Key to Relationships

Conflict resolution is so important. We must resolve the issues that happen in our everyday lives with the people we’re doing life with so we can continue to do life with them. The process can take time, so don’t quit. Ask God for the right timing, the right words, and the right heart. Also, ask that your words would land in a tender place in the other person’s heart.

References and Links

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Resolve Conflict to Restore Relationships - ETB #106
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