7 Easy Steps to Solve Conflicts in A Biblical Way
A healthy conflict is good, as it clears misunderstandings & helps everyone deal with negative feelings in a positive way. Often, we’re unprepared to deal with conflict the right way. Either we try to suppress our feelings or stay passively compliant. Eventually, compliancy reaches its limit. A partner, spouse or a child who is passive and compliant can become a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
Unresolved conflict causes resentment, rumor, instability, disagreement, vengeance and heartlessness.
Adopting the method of resolving conflict the Biblical way allows us to keep our cool & humbly communicate in a peaceful, loving manner.
Here are seven steps to resolve conflicts that God outlines in the Bible. It works in almost any situation.
1. Take the first step to resolve the conflict
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 18:15)
The moment you feel something is not right in your relationship, take the initiative to resolve the situation. Conflicts arise when tried to be solved via texts, emails or phone calls, because we can’t read each other’s body language. Approach the person face-to-face.
2. Focus bigger goals
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
Your relationships are more important than any disagreement. So, keep that in mind before starting a discussion. Focus on the things that matter to reach your goals together, instead of focusing on what is keeping you apart.
3. Listen to what the other person has to say about the situation
To answer before listening—that is folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
This will be one of the most difficult steps when resolving a conflict with your loved ones. Allow the person to speak first while you listen, without becoming defensive or angry. Let the person complete his or her story, try not to interrupt.
4. Acknowledge the person’s feelings
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19–20)
Validate the other person’s point of view without arguing or being suspicious. Then proceed to ask if they will listen to what you have to say about the situation.
5. Tell your story
You may think you have won your case in court, until your opponent speaks. (Proverbs 18:17)
Let the person know how you may have perceived the situation in a different way. Avoid blaming each other. Although, there's no harm in letting the person know how the situation or actions of the other person hurt your feelings.
6. Apologize and ask forgiveness
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Take responsibility for your part of the argument. And, don’t expect the other person to ask for forgiveness. Forgive them without any conditions or expectations. This step will help in minimizing further disagreements in the discussion.
7. Have a healthy discussion
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14)
Set ground rules for the relationship moving forward to avoid future conflict and close with a prayer.