Tag: Conflict

Strength Of Character

Conflict is inevitable. We assume that when our character is strong, conflict will not break us, even when it piles up. When we achieve the desired result, we are encouraged.

However, as Robert Tew said, “Strength of character isn’t always about how much you can handle before you break, it’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve broken.”

Once we are broken, how much can we handle? Do we find ourselves shutting down, withdrawing, becoming reclusive, and avoiding contact with others?

A great deal of admiration goes to leaders whose strength of character shines before they break and after they are broken.

Biblical Resolution…Part 2

Paul’s letter to Philemon regarding the runaway slave, Onesimus, is another great text on resolving conflict. Paul makes several appeals, and each hold significance.

First, he appeals to Philemon’s character, faith, love for the church, and dedication to the Lord.

Second, he appeals for the sake of his self-sacrificing love.

Third, he appeals to the value and worth of Onesimus, not as a slave, but a brother in Christ.

Fourth, he appeals to his own confidence in Philemon to go beyond what Paul asks.

Our conflict with others could be resolved more quickly if we spent a little time making an appeal based on these four areas.

Biblical Resolution…Part 1

The Gospel of Matthew highlights Jesus instructing the disciples in what to do if a brother sins against you. He
said to “go to them in private.” Conflict could be more easily resolved if we took this approach.

Of course, Jesus continues with taking two or three witnesses, if they do not listen to you. However, the most powerful part is found at the end, “if they will not listen to the church.”

Imagine the power of an entire congregation on your doorstep to resolve the conflict.

His point is not about discipline, but about restoration. Let’s seek reconciliation.

Resolving Conflict

The challenges associated with conflict run deep and the resolutions do not come quickly. When conflict arises, what can we do?

1) Embrace the conflict. Conflict allows us the opportunity to learn from and grow through it.
2) Develop consistency. Hypocrisy is destructive, thus a consistent approach is the best start.
3) Listen to all sides. There are at least two sides to every story. Listen completely to both.
4) Respond quickly. Waiting to address conflict produces bitter and incorrect feelings.
5) Invite collective wisdom. Ask others who have faced similar conflict and learn.

This is not an exhaustive list, but with a good start we can find resolution more quickly.

An Approach to Conflict

Understanding why conflict exists is a beginning point. How should we approach conflict?

1) Anticipate conflict. With anticipation comes preparation, and when we are prepared we are better equipped to find resolution.

2) See the opportunity. Imagine the difference in facing conflict when we recognize conflict is an opportunity to improve relationships.

3) Deal with one at a time. At various times, we will face an overwhelming flood of conflict. The best approach is this step.

4) Focus on the objective. We easily lose sight of our objective, and our vision is clouded by the devastation of the conflict. Focus!

Why Does Conflict Exist?

One constant in life is “conflict.” The reality of conflict for leaders needs to be understood in order to resolve it.

At least four reasons explain why conflict exists.

1) Change always brings conflict.
2) We live in a complex and diverse world.
3) We interact with people.
4) We cannot control every situation.

Knowing these reasons is not enough. We are all aware of the fact that conflict exists and, for some, conflicts are greater now than ever before.

The question to consider is, “How do we deal with conflict when it comes?”

Over the next few days, we will explore a few suggestions.

Beautiful Leaders…

Leaders often strive to prevent or avoid conflict, controversy, and anything difficult. 

However, Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross claims, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Leaders must appreciate the value of these challenges in life, developing a sensitivity and understanding that displays a compassionate and loving spirit.

When demonstrated, leaders exemplify a Christlike character worth following.