Are You Contributing to Conflict? (Watch this. A must.)
In my family of origin we did conflict well. Very well, in fact. Unfortunately, what we didn’t do well, or know how to, was resolve it. We didn’t know any better. We weren’t taught. We only did what generations before us did. We simply avoided conflict and ignored resolution. We mistakenly assumed that once the bomb went off, the danger was over.
But we all know the bomb going off is just the beginning, right?
Decades later, I am still learning how to do conflict well and, just as importantly, resolve it well. Conflict resolution is h.a.r.d. It is messy. It is dreaded. No one enjoys removing the pieces of shrapnel the bomb left.
But shrapnel left on the landscape of relationships always leaves damage.
Unresolved conflict in a relationship is like shrapnel. Broken relationships are often embedded with the painful fragments of bitterness and unforgiveness. Rarely do they heal on their own. Picking out the shrapnel is a delicate job. It takes skill. Skills that we don’t always have or aren’t even aware we need.
But lack of knowledge is no deterrent for learning.
In fact, lack of knowledge is exactly the catalyst for learning. I no longer believe that not knowing something equals stupid. The truth is that if I don’t know something, then I can learn it. If I don’t know, then I can find out. It doesn’t mean I’m stupid. It means I’m ignorant.
And ignorance is fixable. How do you fix it? You ask for help. You search for the answer. You humble yourself and admit you don’t know. You have a teachable spirit. You seek to be educated: because learning is freedom.
Learning the skills to resolve conflict isn’t difficult. Putting them into practice? Yeah, a bit tougher.
The rewards? Amazing. There is nothing like restored relationship. It is wholeness to the soul, peace to the heart. Broken relationships seldom feel good. Bitterness and unforgiveness never go away on their own. Fractured relationships, like broken bones, need attention. They need healing.
I’ve done my share of offending and experienced my share of offense. However, no matter the role of offender or the one offended, I am called by Christ to forgive, to put away bitterness, and to seek peace.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Rom. 12:8)
Do you have broken relationships or conflict in your life? Take heart. God is in the business of restoration. He will take the shrapnel in your life and create a stunning mosaic. Partner with Him in the process.