Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Productive conflict

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Romans 12:17, ESV

The silent treatment contributes to a slow relational death. Some people who are hurt by insensitivity or disinterest of others default to emotional disengagement. Sadly, their way of punishing someone they love is to withhold love, or they simply lack the skills to fight fair. Their choice to stew in isolation can cook up bitterness in their own heart and feelings of rejection in others.  At their emotional boiling point people tend to accuse and demand. Destructive conflict doesn't fight fair. 

However, productive conflict uses disagreements to engage each other’s hearts. Love is patient to truly understand another's perspective. What may be a misunderstanding is managed with questions and a spirit of seeking to comprehend not complain. Instead of attacking, there is vulnerability with our feelings. For example, we might say, “I want to help, but right now I don’t know how.” During productive conflict we can hit the pause button, take a deep breath and perhaps pray out loud for one another. Prayerful words replace silent pouting.

Furthermore, as we grow in grace we grow to honor individuals as the Lord does. Instead of being disrespectful with our distant demeanor, we communicate respect with our caring eye contact. We embrace another’s differences as an opportunity to learn and improve our thinking. We are quick to confess our quirks, even laugh at our weaknesses, as our Lord reminds us to take Him but not ourselves too seriously. Productive conflict develops our dependence on God and on each other. It's like using spiritual sandpaper to smooth our rough edges.

Therefore, fight fair and remember the devil is the enemy not the person. Spiritual battles are won on our knees. The accuser,Satan, is silenced when we surrender to the Lord’s relational terms of engagement. Selfishness is exiled when we submit our expectations to God. Timely, sincere apologies with forgiveness replace agonizingly long periods of silence or withheld intimacy. Relational skills are needed to manage conflict well. Listen well, think the best and create a safe environment for difficult conversations. Productive conflict increases trust, friendship and intimacy.

In the McLean Va. area I would love to worship with you at either of our worship gatherings Saturdays at 6:30pm or Sundays at 10am, and remember to make today a day of impact for the Kingdom.
Rev. Todd A. Brown, Pastor
First Baptist of Chesterbrook
1740 Kirby Rd.  Mclean Va. 22101
Worship with us Saturdays 6:30pm (come as you are), or Sundays at 10am.
Vision:" Disciples Making a Kingdom Impact"
Listen to "Life Notes" & "Kingdom Impact with Pastor Brown
Mon-Fri at noon and Sundays at 9am and Wednesdays at 9pm on WBGRonline.com

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