Give me a word, Lord: RESOLVING CONFLICT

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

James 1:19-20 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.

Have you ever been so angry about something that you couldn’t think straight? Or maybe someone said something to you that hurt your feelings severely. Our first reaction and instinct is anger. We get angry at that person who offended us. We get boiling mad. We want to lash out. We call up a friend and vent. Sometimes we even turn to social media to tell the world how we have been offended. We cry, we scream, and we fuss. But after we do all of that, we are still angry. Did it help? Nope! Did we resolve anything by our actions during the heat of anger? Nope! So why then do we react that way? I think the answer to that question is that it is human nature.

It’s easy to get caught up on the heat of the moment and say things that we may later regret. It’s easy to be mad. It hurts, but it’s easy. It’s not so easy to deal with the problem. It’s not easy to be confrontational. I for one hate confrontation. I don’t like to tell someone that I’m angry about something that they said or did. It’s hard for me to be that person. But do you want to know what is even harder? Hanging on to that anger. When you hang on to the anger, you slowly become burdened down by the weight of it. Relationships become strained and torn apart.

There’s an old quote I once heard during a sermon, “Holding onto anger is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.” We are slowly killing ourselves and our relationships with the anger inside of us.
How do we fix this problem? Conflict resolution is the key. We must connect one on one with the person and share our heart with them. James 5:16 tells us that earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and will produce wonderful results. Before we move into conflict resolution, we have to talk to God about the issue. Make sure we are going about things in the right way and make sure our hearts are right with God. After we have prayed about it, then we can move on to the good part: healing. Pray for the person who has hurt you, and then go to that person, share your heart with them. When we are hurt or angry, rather than sitting on the anger and letting it fester and grow, we must go to that person in a loving, gentle manner and talk it out. Share with a kind and gentle spirit. Screaming will not help! Speak softly and talk it out. Make sure that the other person understands your heart’s intention. The intention should be one of moving forward and working through the conflict.

It is never easy. Things that really matter usually don’t come easy, but it is definitely worth it. Don’t hold on to grudges. Set yourself and the other person free!

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