Monday, July 25, 2016

How to Respond to Conflict Intro

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.  3 John 1:9-11
  Even the best relationships experience conflict from time to time and there is certainly no lack of conflict in our world today.  Knowing how to deal with it is mandatory for lasting relationships.

Visitors at a zoo were amazed to find a cage with a fox and four chickens inside and a sign hanging on the front that read: “Peaceful Co-existence.”  The people were amazed at this and asked the zookeeper how a fox and chickens could get along with each other.  The zookeeper said, “Oh it’s very easy to maintain this arrangement because all we have to do is occasionally toss in a few more chickens.”  It is always more rewarding to SOLVE a conflict than to DISSOLVE a relationship.

Before we look at three ways to respond to and resolve the conflicts we experience in our relationships, let’s look at Four Ways We Shouldn’t Respond To Conflict.
  1. The “My Way” Method
People who respond this way usually think they are 100% right 100% of the time.  They do whatever it takes to get their own way.  They have no interest in the perspective of another.  The only objective they have is to get agreement with their viewpoint.  There are times they may get their way only because others just get tired of their stubbornness.
  1. The “No Way” Method 
These are the people who usually back away from conflict and refuse to face it.  They do whatever it takes to avoid an argument.  Avoiding conflict is merely refusing to deal with life issues.  It leads to more serious problems as these differences go on unresolved.  Many a simple misunderstanding left un-clarified has led to major relationship problems.
That’s like the husband and wife who had a really bad argument.  The wife was last seen crawling to her husband on her hands and knees.  At the same time she was screaming.  “Get out from under that bed you coward!”
  1. The “Your Way” Method 
This is when they just say, “have it your way.”  This is the kind of person who always gives in to the other person.  They just roll over and play dead.  A favorite word for these people is “whatever.” The problem is they keep stuffing their emotions inside until their bitterness swells within them like a shaken can of coke.  Then they explode and spew!
  1. The “Half Way” Method
This is where they try to compromise.  They win some of the time and the other person wins some of the time.  The problem is someone still loses.  Right does not have a side.  Win/lose needs to be win/win as we understand one another better through dealing with conflict. This way might be better than the other ways we have looked at, but it’s still not the best way to respond to conflict.
Tomorrow, we will look at some right ways to respond to conflict from III John.
Scripture to Claim:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing.   Philippians 2:14

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