Some relationships are naturally sources of conflict.
Whether it’s a spouse, a family member, a friend, a coworker, or even someone at church, we all have that one person who rubs us the wrong way.
The question is, how should we address conflict with that person?
Perhaps we don’t. Maybe we pretend that the conflict doesn’t exist. Or we refuse to talk about it. Or we verbally or emotionally attack the other person.
There’s a better way.
Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” We cannot control what others do, but we can choose to engage in healthy conflict and deal with contentious issues in a respectful, caring way before they get out of control. Put the issue on the table, deal with it, and move on.
Our guest on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Living at Peace with Difficult People” is Brian Noble, the chief executive of Peacemaker Ministries, who has more than a thousand hours of experience in conflict coaching and mediation. We’re discussing his bookLiving Reconciled: Seven Ways to Bring Peace to Your Most Difficult Relationships.
Brian teaches the 4-step Path of a Peacemaker, a process that helps people work through conflict:
- STORY – Your story provides the context of your experiences, beliefs, and relationships. Resolution is impossible until you know yourself and the other person.
- ASCEND – Connect with God first before you attempt to overcome conflict. Humble yourself. Learn from Him.
- REFLECT – Take personal responsibility for your actions, attitude, and mistakes. Don’t blame or judge the other person.
- CONNECT – Reestablish a healthy relationship with the other person through confession, repentance, and giving/asking for forgiveness.
God calls us to a spirit of unity and fellowship and love for one another. And we certainly can’t do those things well when we’re fighting or harboring bitter thoughts or refuse to forgive. Learn to navigate conflict in healthy, God-honoring ways on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.
If you’re facing conflict that you’ve been unable to solve, our counselors may be able to help. Any one of them would be happy to spend some time with you on the phone and then refer you to a like-minded counselor in your area, if needed. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
Brian’s book Living Reconciled: Seven Ways to Bring Peace to Your Most Difficult Relationships is available for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website.