Why is there so much Conflict?<br />Family conflict.<br />Marriage conflict.<br />Business conflict.<br />The reality is: conflict happens.<br />
Unity is The Most Important Work of God’s Spirit<br />Why is conflict natural? Answer: it’s a byproduct of our broken, messed-up world, filled with self-centered little kingdoms .<br />God intended all of our kingdoms to work in unity.<br />Not all conflict is bad, of course, but unresolved conflict is treacherous.<br />
Communication Problems<br />This world would be much easier if we could here what people meant instead of what they said, or if husbands actually had ESP.<br />Have you ever said, “That came out wrong,” or “That’s not what I meant.”<br />Typically, girls love to talk and boys love not to.<br />3 Human Problems Make Conflict Inevitable<br />
2. Heart Problems<br />We all come from imperfect families and have imperfect friends. We’ve all been wounded, and we all wound others. In other words, we all have heart problems.<br />Jesus demands that making amends with one another take priority over every other religious act or deed: Matthew 5:23-24, 6:14-15<br />We must all realize that we can think we’re absolutely right when we’re actually wrong.<br />
3. Perception Problems <br />People can be so hopelessly self-centered, can‘t they? Isn’t that frustrating? It’s a good thing we’re not like them.<br />Read page 122<br />
Is there anyone I’m at odds with right now?<br />Whom do I avoid during the day? At church<br />If I ran into that person at the grocery store, could I look her or him in the eyes and truly want the best for that person?<br />Is there anyone I resent, have not forgiven, or feel bitterness toward?<br />
Into the Ring With Truth and Love<br />We live in a broken world where conflict happens. We must face it in order to love God and each other…<br /><ul><li>Colossians 3:9-10, 13-14</li></ul>Read bottom of 123<br />There are 4 ways to deal with Conflict:<br />I Win, You Lose<br />We Both Lose<br />I Lose, You Win<br />We Both Win<br />
1. I Win, You Lose<br />When the goal is to prove you’re right, to win the argument, you cease trying to understand what circumstances might have led to the actions that hurt or offended the other. You win the argument but lose the relationship.<br /><ul><li>Ever seen yourself respond in this way? Someone hurts you and you attack; you feel the need to prove yourself right?
This kills relationships…of any kind.</li></li></ul><li>2. We Both Lose<br /><ul><li>Some Christians think that when someone hurts them, the best thing to do is to avoid the person, leave the church, quit the small group, or just ignore the topic because conflict would be bad, right?
Running hurts everyone because we lose relationship. If you run, neither party has a chance to learn from the conflict.
If running is your typical response, listen and respond to God’s Spirit, who wants to give you the courage to stay in the ring!</li></li></ul><li>3. I Lose You Win<br /><ul><li>Another common tactic for dealing with conflict is to give in. This happens when we are afraid of saying what we feel or what we desire.
People who take this approach preserve their relationships only superficially. In reality, they have little relationship at all.
If you tend to give in, remember this: unity comes when each distinctly different person can love despite differences, express needs and wants, and work toward compromise. If you always give in to preserve the relationship, ask God to help you speak the truth with love.</li></li></ul><li>4. We Both Wins<br />Talk frankly about your thoughts and feelings, about concerns or issues that need to be addressed, remembering to attack the issue rather than the person.<br />But how do we really do that? Nothing in life is more difficult than to love the way God wants to teach us to love in the moment of conflict.<br />Luke 6:27-28, 35<br />
Something to Ponder for the Week: What to Pray About During Your Experiment<br />Do you tense up around certain people? When certain people come to mind, do you feel anger, anxiety or defensiveness?<br />Ask God to show you this week if there’s anyone you are at odds with –due to something they did to you or you’ve done to them.<br />