Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-23
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. (Ph 4:2 NIV)
Conflicts between individuals are inevitable!
A conflict occurs when two or more people disagree on a given subject. Parents and children are often in conflict over use of time, choice of friends, school reports, test scores, and social activities. Missionaries find themselves in conflicting situations over priorities, work ethics, and job assignments. Pastors and lay people suffer conflicts over choice of music, worship formats, and use of finances.
How can we manage disagreement in a way that enhances relationships rather than severing them? The Website: Missions Mobilizer suggests five strategies that are worth considering.
· Collaborating—I win—you win.
This strategy employs teamwork and cooperation to solve differences. One drawback is the time involved in achieving the goals.
· Compromising—You bend—I bend.
This strategy is based upon the theory that you win a little, while losing a little. Each person bends to achieve a common goal, while holding on to his/her original position.
· Accommodating—I lose—you win.
With this strategy, one person sees the common purpose as more important than the conflict. He/she protects the relationship by downplaying the conflict.
· Competing—I win—you lose.
This strategy forces the issue of rightness. Power is used to gain one’s goal.
· Avoiding—No winners—no losers.
Avoid the conflict by withdrawing, sidestepping, or postponing.
Christian confrontation should always stress the truth—but in love. Practice using the I word, instead of the accusatory you word. Avoid sayimg, “You are at fault!”
Obviously, the most successful resolutions to conflicts are those when the two or more parties are in earnest about bringing a solution that will be honoring to God, and promotes the welfare of all parties involved.
Let’s put into practice the words of the Apostle Paul, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died.” (2 Cor. 5:14 NASB)
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me put into practice the compelling love of Christ.