Resolving Conflicts

1 Corinthians 6:3   (NLT)   Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.

As much as possible, I try to avoid conflict. God’s Word tells us to keep the peace if it’s at all possible and as much as it depends on us. There’s not a lot there that can threaten 1 Corinthians 6.3 - Resolving Conflictspeace more quickly than trying to correct a person. But God’s Word also tells us to correct and rebuke.

At least in my own personal experience, it’s harder to correct people who are influential, strongly opinionated, successful, achievers, those who are considered high status in society. The task of speaking with them to discuss a possible wrong they do can be very challenging and highly threatening to the peace we work so hard for and work so hard to keep. It can be daunting. And there may be times when we let things just slide; we just brush things off when the best action is to call wrongdoers on their offenses.

Often, we are accused of judging. And I agree; we ought to not be judgmental people. But the wisest king who’s ever lived taught that open rebuke is better than secret love. There is a place for open, loving rebuke.

No one should intimidate us to inaction. It doesn’t matter how famous, rich, powerful, influential the person is. If they need to be told of their wrongs, they need to be told. We will be judging angels, we’re certainly and sufficiently equipped by our loving God to effectively handle disputes and conflicts between others, even if we’re the ones directly involved.

Don’t Be Mad

Psalms 37:8   (NLT)   Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.

Not all anger is sinful, but as much as possible we should avoid being angry. When we get angry, it is very easy to lose control. Our anger could quickly, easily, and dangerously escalate to hatred and rage. That is not good for us. We can do things that are very Psalm 37.8 - Don't be Madharmful—not only to us, but more so to others. When we act from deep anger we often don’t think rationally. We act out of extreme emotions. Most of the time, we end up doing things we later regret, but often, it is too late; the damage is done.

There are gazillions of reasons for getting mad. Many times also, we seem to think anger is more effective in getting people’s attention. We feel they take us more seriously when we’re angry, but experience tells us otherwise. Someone very close to me have often stated that she does not respond positively to angry corrections or instructions, in fact, she freezes, and her mind shuts down. Of course, it is difficult for me to understand this, probably because there are times I react positively to anger. There have been many occasions when I did the right thing because I did not want people I love to get disappointed and angry with me. I understand: not everyone is the same. I can only theorize, but it seems like there are people who have a hard time understanding and reacting favorably when being scolded out of anger. We just end up feeling extremely bad; anger does that. Venting out our anger may not necessarily be always a good thing to do; it can be counter-productive.

Praise God; He is not the same as us; He is very patient with us. Just imagine if He gets angry with us as quickly as we do with others. If God finds patience and peace beneficial, it does us well to imitate Him; there is wisdom in it. There will be very disappointing people; there will be very irritating actions; there will be many situations when anger is justified. But as much as it all depends on us, it’s best not to get angry. This does not mean lack of correction, or instruction, or discipline. We still correct, but we do so in a calm, controlled, peaceful, and loving manner. It’s much better that way. We save ourselves from headache, heartache, and high blood pressure, and from big potential of sinning against our immensely patient God and Father—that’s a big difference.

Of Truth and Enemies

Galatians 4:16  (KJV)   16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Truth can create enemies. People can be so innocently deceived and be so convinced that they’re right. Others are deliberate deceivers.  They know they’re wrong but they continue to deceive because of personal benefits. The more important the truth, the more passionate people can become with it. Bearers of the truth stand in the way of the deceived and the deceiver; no; they crash against each other.

Truth-bearers, truth-sharers will make enemies – not by choice, but as a consequence. With that in mind, will we stand back? Having enemies isn’t ungodly; this is unavoidable. We ought to love them of course. Not that easy but it ought to be done. In fact, if it’s at all possible, we ought to pursue peace. But if peace means muzzling and sacrificing of truth, let’s then prepare to live with the presence of enemies. There are truths that are pleasant and truths that are ugly. Truth will hurt, especially ugly truths about ourselves.

Some have become very comfortable with hidden ugly truths. They want to live in them instead of being free from them. They’ve chosen and mastered the path of covering the inner monsters instead of getting rid of them. They know how to act on the outside differently from what they feel inside; they act differently in front of people and they act differently alone. They don’t want to be found out. Truth also liberates those who genuinely seek it. Some will welcome it, some will abhor it. If truth be told: truth ought to be told – especially the truth that makes a difference in our eternal destination or existence.

Dear God, You are Truth. You are so good, so great. Men and women from all corners of the earth ought to know You; You’re really good news. In fact, there’s no better news than You, what You’ve done for us, and what You have in store for us. Please help us to always remember the value of what You’ve deposited in us, that we may see the value of sharing them – at all godly cost.