The How To's of Prayer Ministry

7.10.4 Resolving Conflict

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved,

> The Attitude of Resolve
1. put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

> The Intent of Resolve
2. (v13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any one has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

> The Resolution of Resolve
3. (v14) But above all these things put on love, which coheres a perfect bond.

Those unwilling to meet these scriptural perimeters have no intent or interest to resolve anything, only to prove a point or to bring hurt or embarrassment to the reputation of the other party. All matters must be done privately with the resolution to re-establish restoration, reconciliation and forgiveness, never retribution!

4. Another individual meeting the scriptural qualifications may mediate when the problem seems to be unsolvable or out of hand, or has a direct effect on the corporate church body. Never bring disagreements into the open forum causing embarrassment to an individual and a reproach to Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, offences will surely come, but never be the point of offense. Those who do otherwise are scripturally without excuse. Scripture further states, that those who stir continuous contention and strife are to be [marked/recognized as those who cause problems].

Rule #1 Enter into confrontation with the attitude that you may be wrong. Argument is not to settle who is right or wrong, but rather to resolve the problem, to serve the betterment of all concerned. ‘Focus on the problem, not on the individual.’

Rule #2 Enter into confrontation with the attitude that there may be a better way. It may not be your way. Romans 12:10

Rule #3 When possible, enter into each session in a spirit of humility. When tempers are emotionally charged this may be your greatest challenge. So pray together seeking for God’s wisdom, understanding and guidance. Don’t use the prayer time to preach to the other. We can often use prayer as a tool to raise our defense or manipulate our offense. (Jesus hated this, He called it praying in pretense) Mark 12:40. Search the scriptures together, search out understanding. Proverbs 4:7

Rule #4 Enter into confrontation with the attitude that the feelings and emotions of the other party (ies) are as important as your own. There may be a good reason for the reactions and actions of the others, why one responds in a peculiar manner. Know that men and women find solutions differently.
> Men are usually satisfied with a ready, “lets get this over with”, solution or when emotions are displayed the, “get over it” attitude. Men call this logical reasoning.
Women, on the other hand, need to talk out the problem, especially when emotions or relationship are involved. Know that women are relationship oriented. Don’t try to change it. God created this into a woman. So men be ready to invest some quality time.
When women are addressing a problem with a man, a woman needs to address a man, how to solve the problem, how to fix it.’ This will help a man to understand the real issues involved. Generalizations do not solve a man’s rationality. Remember women, God created man this way.
When addressing man to woman, a woman needs an answer that addresses that she has been understood and that her emotions are also addressed with satisfaction. Usually a woman maybe dealing with feelings of betrayal or lack of feeling safe in addition to the stated issues. Unless they are brought into the discussion as part of finding a solution, a woman will continue to see the problem as unresolved. Women, remember that men find this type of reasoning very, very difficult. So be patient, and men try as you can to be sensitive to these issues.

Footnote: When one is confused about their personal emotions and they are brought into the discussion, the most-likely possibility is that other parties will not understand them either. It is best to consult a doctor. Emotional changes may be caused by chemical deficiencies or hormonal imbalance, injury, or other. These are emotions that display themselves without any apparent cause.

Rule #5 Never bring unrelated issues into an argument. Spell out the real problem and feelings. Hit your target!!! and always define your terms making yourself plainly understood. Don’t try to hurry those speaking or intimidate them that they are babbling. What one considers babbling is usually ones inability to describe emotions. Take some time and write down what you are feeling. If you take notes and the conversation has been truly confusing, read them over and ask for further clarity.
Footnote: Most avoid resolving issues of offence because they do not understand the dynamic brought in to play as a result. When one has an unresolved issue with another, or one finds the other unapproachable, or no attempt is made to reconcile the offense, one may attempt to resolve that issue in a variety of other scenarios, often speaking to anyone who will listen. The language one communicates may be interpreted as clamorous backbiting, while in reality it is an attempt to resolve the issue and find peace within. Do not believe unresolved contention will somehow eventually disappear. When issues are not defused they often simmer and eventually multiply. One discontented individual will transfer their feelings to two and then three, and when a number of individuals have unresolved issues the problem can turn explosive.

Rule #6 When possible talk out a serious problem immediately, at the time of offence. When emotions are charged, wait a short while, then schedule a time to address the issues. When sufficient time is not available, schedule quality time to talk it out.
Remember if you are seeking intimacy

Rule #7 Never resort to name calling. Do not manipulate or inflict hurtful words. Don’t waist your time thinking out a defense that will win over the other to believe you are right. This accomplishes nothing. And only proves you have a problem with control. No cursing. (Remember a person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still). (Manipulation, guilt trips and name games never settle anything and only further widen the hurt and possibility for solution.)
Show a little compassion: At times one may become offended for who knows what reason? People often take offense in a relationship when they interpret conditions unfamiliar to them, as directed toward them.
Cause in point: An individual may have been somewhat predictable in the past. All of a sudden one may display unfamiliar behavior such as becoming forgetful. They may be unable to pay a debt. One may receive this as betraying a trust, that a promise has been broken. Perhaps they do not communicate the reason for the sudden change. Conditions may have interrupted the environment surrounding them. They may have suffered a loss or be otherwise distracted. This is when they need your support and not your criticism. So show a little compassion. Forgiveness and understanding are tremendous virtues. Don’t make an issue of trivials. Remember love hardly notices when it is wronged. We all come from a variety of backgrounds. Ethnic relationships also manifest a diversity of gifting, character, traditions and cultures. Some cultures express a lot of affection while others exercise none. What maybe found appropriate in the church of one culture might be misinterpreted in another, yet, this maybe normal cultural behavior in one’s ethnic surroundings. No one would give it a single notice. If one finds your behavior offensive, out of respect to the other it is best to refrain in that manner toward them. But if you forget, don’t succumb to condemnation. We are all culturally conditioned, so show a little compassion. If you must, let the other have their space. The one making the issue should not impose their personal convictions on how to express their friendship to others. This does not pertain to sexual improprieties. We are speaking of expressions of affirmation, friendship and comfort. Usually those who find certain cultural expressions offensive have unresolved issues of bitterness, hurt or unforgiveness not stemming from the individual at all but from some past unpleasant experience. When there is a scriptural problem, refrain, but when not, show some compassion.

Rule #8 Do not call to remembrance past, already resolved issues to impute quilt, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with the problem. (as to collect points or establish blame. (No blame is the name of the game) No one is taking a tally. When possible, every disagreement should be treated as though it is the first time.

Rule #9 Never generalize in your description of a problem. One may do this in an attempt to remove the severity of unneeded hurt when addressing another regarding an offence. Carefully choosing your words are good, generalizing is not. Unfortunately, the problem may not be clear to ones understanding. Remember women often add to the issue with other suspected intentions and emotional possibilities. Remember, the solution will only be found in the ‘specific offending situation’. Generalizing only leads to more questions, and often led to further misunderstanding and “roads that go nowhere”. If you are hiding the real issue, don’t blame the other if the problem is still unresolved! Don’t think every similar situation will be tailored with the same ready solution. Remember, people often react out of their gifting, or motivation. We may forget that the Father has chosen to create each of us differently. We may interpret the actions of others as illogical or dishonest, when in fact the problem may lie in the way the individual rationalizes. Some tend to act with their heart or emotions rather than with logical reasoning. Each of us is created so very differently. Each personality and character is unique. Dealing with a problem is simply finding a way for all parties to work well together. Record these solutions for future reference.

Rule #10 Designate time for each party to speak without interruption. (Specify if necessary, an allotment of time for each round.) Example: 5 minutes to each person each round. And consider it may take a number of rounds to settle one satisfactory solution. Don’t overload each session of meeting time. When there are many issues, work to solve only one or two during each session. Trying to solve too many issues at one time is counter productive to the goal because it tends to overwhelm any opportunity for blessing and leaves in return feelings of anger and resentment instead. Always try to end each session on an uplifting note.

Rule #11 Here is your opportunity to be creative. Write down notes. What do you understand the solution to mean? Talk about it. (Remember talk is cheap, so empower and take action with your solution.) You will find, deep respect from those around you, even those who have been indifferent to you, when you are found to be a person of integrity. An individual who performs your word and what more, you will feel good about yourself.

Rule #12 Sometimes admitting to blame and asking forgiveness will bring healing into a relationship. There are times we have all done things we know were hurtful and wrong. We all have things hidden in our closets. So isn’t the relationship worth an honest, “I’m sorry.”

Rule #13 When the confrontation is ended. It is ended. Leave it behind. A word of affection, affirmation or blessing will help heal, make relationships stronger and prevent the adversary from building the anger into unresolved hurt or bitterness. Both parties should say, I’m sorry. Quite often you will find that you have won over a lasting friend. It is truly unfortunate that we take our relationships for granted. People find it amazing when an individual is willing to go the extra mile to assure a good and lasting relationship. Matthew 5:41

Rule #14 When a settlement seems impossible to attain, seek out a trusted and impartial professional counselor (a pastor or Christian counselor) in whom you both trust. Don’t leave important issues to amateurs. It might cost you a great friendship or worse a terrific spouse. Don’t jump from one counselor to another to find out whose advise you want to take. In this you have already admitted you will never submit to change. Unless the counselor is in obvious opposition to the word of God. When possible, chose a man and wife team together when dealing with a severe marriage or gender issues. Many times a man will understand a man and a woman a woman and they are trained to interpret and articulate emotions and abstract feelings that are hard to explain. It is important that they are talked out as to find a lasting solution. \

Rule #15 Don’t bring issues among people that might compromise the solution. This is not an open forum. The matter may not be for a particular persons ears. Know to whom the responsibility rests and leave it there. This may pertain to a variety of issues. Not every solution is to be found in confidence of a particular counselor.