Friction: Resolving Conflict

Here are the notes from this last Sunday night…you can listen to the message online

Every relationship no matter how good or godly will experience friction.

Conflict is normal & inevitable.
– Fallen World [John 16:33]
– Beliefs [Acts 15:1-35]
– Perspective [Acts 36-41]
– Preference/Personality [Phil. 4:2-3]
– Selfishness [James 4:1-3]

Conflict is an Opportunity to Grow.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Why Conflict is hard to resolve?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Prov. 14:12

– We choose the wrong Moment. [Prov. 15:23]
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!

– We have the wrong Emotion. [Prov. 15:18]
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

– We use the wrong Method. [Prov. 15:1]
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Stew/Stuff – Passive [Ticking Time Bomb] Turtle – Retreat
Seep – Passive-Aggressive [Prayer Request/Facebook Post]
Spew – Aggressive [Hand Grenade] Shark – React

– We lack personal Objectivity. [Jer. 17:9]
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?

6 Steps to resolving conflict healthily:

Step 1: Define the problem [own your own]. [Prov. 15:14]
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. Prov. 15:14

Personal Examination & Private Prayer:
Anger is a secondary emotion; take time to ask why am I really angry?

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

IF necessary seek Wise Counsel:
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Prov. 15:22

Step 2: Set a time to talk. [in person whenever possible] [Matt. 5:23-24]
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matt. 5:23-24

Step 3: Address the problem, not the person. [Prov. 18:19]

What’s the most generous explanation for their behavior?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

Focus on one issue, not many issues

Speak the truth in love [Eph. 4:15-16]
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Use: I feel _______ when you ________. statements

Step 4: Feel their pain [as though it were your own]. [Prov. 17:17]
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Prov. 17:17

Practice give & take communication

[Focus on listening and learning…true understanding is the essential ingredient to conflict resolution.]

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” James 1:19-20

He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame. Proverbs 18:13

Step 5: Establish a specific action plan [write it down]. [James 1:22-25]

Set things right between you. [James 5:16]

Learn how to Apologize: ask for and give Forgiveness.

– I was wrong [Own your responsibility]
– I’m sorry
– Will you forgive me?
– I forgive you. [not- it’s okay]

The Stages of Forgiveness:
Stage 1: Forgive
Stage 2: Forgiving
Stage 3: Forgiven

If necessary Step 6: If you get stuck – get outside help to resolve your conflict. [Prov. 11:14; Matt. 18:15-20]

“Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Prov. 11:14

Conclusion: Embrace a new way of doing relationships where the goal in resolving conflict is not winning, but oneness.
[Phil. 2:1-11; see also John 17:20-26]

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11

We love because He first loved us.
We forgive because He has forgiven us completely.
We set aside our rights in order to restore because He set aside His rights bearing our shame and sin on the cross to bring us into relationship with Himself

Many of the Principles for Conflict Resolution have been taken from:

Message by Tim Lundy “Resolving Conflict in Your Marriage”

Message by Chip Ingram “Session 5: Conflict Resolution” Experiencing God’s Dream for Your Marriage.

Lecture by Dr. John Maxwell, “The 10 Commandments of Conflict Resolution”

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