I have been teaching a class on Resolving Conflict based on the book The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. The material is wonderful and the class has been very good. As I have been reading and studying conflict, there are some insights that I have found very helpful. I will share a few here, hoping this will help people understand why they have conflict in their lives.
In James 4:1-3 it says:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
What an amazing portion of Scripture, as we look into the root of why we have conflict in our lives. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 15:19: “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Ken Sande says “These passages describe the root cause of conflict: “unmet desires in our hearts.“ I would add to that the emotion of fear, as we fear our desires will not be met or we fear a certain outcome.
Some desires we have are unhealthy, like revenge, lust, greed, jealously. Some of the desires we have can be good, like a happy marriage, a loving spouse, respectful children, a raise a work, a promotion, for people to respect you, a new iPad or a growing church. The problem is when someone or something blocks us from having these desires, conflict happens. Sande shares that there are basically two options at this point; God’s way or our way.
So here are a few questions to ponder:
Take some time to answer these questions honestly. Ask God to reveal areas where you have gone your way instead of His way.
Conflict is all around us, none of us can escape conflict. We try to avoid it, we try to minimize it, we try to attack it but we should resolve it. Usually the way to reach resolution is through confrontation. In a conflict situation the best way to obtain peace is to start by confronting the issue. The problem is for most of us the idea of confronting is not something we are good at and we often do it in the wrong way. This will usually cause the conflict to get worse. Jesus was very good at confrontation. He gave us some clear examples of how to do it. One of those times is in John 8:48-59. Jesus is having a showdown with some of the leader’s of the Jews. Here are four steps Jesus used to get to the heart of the issue:
Here are some more takeaways on the right way to confront:
Resolving conflict is never easy, but always worth the effort.
Leadership has been a passion of mine for a long time. The ability to lead well makes all the difference in any organization. That is why a leader can never stop growing. We all have different styles of leading, and the best leaders are able to use different styles of leading in different situations. I happen to lead at a church and so there is a spiritual element to the way in which I lead. Spiritual leadership is much different than the way most leaders lead. Here are some insights on how a spiritual leader leads well:
Leading well is not about the things you accomplish but the people that you influence and the legacy you leave behind. Lead and serve well.