Conflict and struggle in human relationships are an ongoing reality. They are at the heart of the Biblical story. Jesus clearly taught and revealed God's desire for forgiveness and reconciliation through the ongoing conflicts in his relationships with the disciples and friends and with the religious authorities.
Some conflicts are slight offenses to our ego, or false self, which we can let go of and realize do not hold the potential to harm the ongoing integrity of the relationship. Other conflicts are more serious and call us to deeper soul searching, prayer, and reconciliation.
Steps for Dealing with Conflict
- Acknowledge the conflict and why it was hurtful or offensive to you. Take a few moments to write it down and reflect on what is happening before God.
- Does this conflict reveal your deepest wounds?
- Does this conflict reveal your false self/ego?
- Does this conflict reveal an injustice that needs to be addressed?
- Pray for the person who has hurt or offended you. Ask for God's healing grace to bring awareness and recognition to you and to the offender.
- Contact the person who hurt or offended you and ask for time to share your story with him or her.
- Take responsibility for your desire to deepen the relationship by authentically sharing your story. Thoughtfully and prayerfully share your story and your desire to be reconciled in the way of Jesus. Acknowledge what you have learned about yourself and celebrate the love and grace of God that leads you to growth and a chance to grow deeper through conflict and reconciliation.