Here are eleven things I tell myself when in conflict with
- The person I am in conflict with is someone for
whom Christ died. God loves this person. (Read Romans 8 with this person in
- I don’t assume the other person has bad motives but is operating from a pure heart.
- Labeling them as proud is not a good starting
point and is probably a sign that I am proud.
- Chances are I am wrong about something and need
to examine myself (Jer 17:9).
- I probably do not have all the facts (Prov 18:17).
I need to hear more than one side of the issue.
- Sometimes it is much better to overlook an
offense (Prov 19:11).
- I need to own my responsibility for the conflict
and confess it to them. The chances of having a log in my own eye are pretty
good (Mt 7:3-5).
- I need to treat them the way I would want to be
treated. Or better yet, treat them the way I would want someone to treat my
- Escaping through denial or flight is not an
option. I must go and be reconciled (Mt 5:23-24).
might need to bring someone in, not to gossip, but to give me perspective and
potentially mediate the situation (Mt 18:16).
they ask for forgiveness, I need to give it to them. Peacemakers is helpful
here. I am promising:
a. Not to dwell on the incident
b. Not to bring the incident up and use it against them
c. Not to talk to others about the incident
d. Not to allow the incident to stand between us or hinder our relationship
Could this list be longer? Of course. Some conflicts are complicated and at times it seems impossible for their to be a breakthrough. This is just a good place for me to start.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.