DEALING WITH CONFLICT

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” – Ephesians 4:26 KJV

An important part of human existence is relationships. God has designed us to be relational beings and we will always need people in our lives at every point in time. An interesting thing that comes with relationships is conflict. This is because there are no two people that are the same or completely share the same perspectives on different matters about life. As a result, there are chances of having misunderstandings with the people in our lives.

Conflict can occur as a clash of interests, unmet desires, personality differences or even personal ambitions. In Acts 15:36-41, we see a conflict ensue between Paul and Barnabas based on a clash of interests. This conflict would eventually lead to their separation, even though God had called them both to do ministry together (Acts 13:2-3). This debunks the general opinion that all relationships ordained by God will automatically work. There will always be efforts that would be required to be put into our relationships. 

As seen in our opening text, Paul admonishes believers to not let the sun go down on their anger. This means that you must be quick to remediate any issue that you might have with your friends, partners or family members. In addressing the issues, you should be slow to speak and be apt to listen (James 1:19). Don’t be too quick to want to air out your opinion without listening to theirs. The end goal is not to be right or prove a point, but to reconcile the matter at hand. 

More so, we must not give room to strife in our relationships. It silently stifles the bond in relationships until both parties are unable to stand each other. When there is a misunderstanding with your partner, choose to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). By doing so, you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh. Whenever you are offended by your partner, discuss it in a peaceful way. Remember, a silent answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1). Abraham understood this, and in Genesis 13:7-8, he handled the strife that was ongoing between his herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock peaceably. 

In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus also teaches the right approach to reconciling and remediating issues in our relationships. Before you discuss any matter with anyone else, you must first address the issue with your partner. If there is no obvious improvement, you may then escalate to a trusted friend of like mind or to your spiritual authority. 

In conclusion, conflicts are part of human existence and they can be handled well. As believers, we have what it takes to handle them well. We must not assume that our relationships will work out fine just because God ordained them, but we must be seen actively putting efforts to resolve conflicts when they occur.  

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 7:24-50

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