Why your feud is worth the fight
I always assumed avoiding conflict was the “Christian” thing to do. Inevitably, I allowed people to walk all over me instead of addressing my concerns and working through the problem.
Since then, I’ve learned God never intended for relationships to function that way.
God knew conflict would be inevitable. When conflict happens — and it will — we are to strive for full restoration (2 Corinthians 13:11).
Like nations making the tough call to go war to effect change, we must choose to fight vigorously for restoration in our relationships. When we choose to fight the right way, our relationships can come out stronger because of conflict not in spite of it.
3 Reasons Conflict Can Make Our Relationships Stronger
1. Every conflict is an opportunity to build trust.
Our relationships will either be deepened by conflict or derailed by it. If we neglect our concerns, we will experience the latter.
With every conflict, we face an opportunity to work through what is standing in our way to prove to our family and friends that our relationships are more valuable than the things we are fighting over.
2. Conflict keeps us from sin.
Conflict and anger are not sins. It’s how and when we handle our conflict that can be a problem. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Like a simmering pot left unattended, it’s just a matter of time until our anger boils over into jealousy, rage, resentment and bitterness — so address the issues immediately to keep you from sin.
3. Conflict can serve as a lifeline for those who have lost their way.
Maybe you feel burdened by a loved one who has lost his or her way. You worry that if you voice your concerns you will push that person further away, but saying nothing could mean watching a friend or family member ruin his or her life.
The apostle Paul was in the same position when he addressed the people of Corinth for how they were living. Though it was difficult, Paul made it clear he had no regrets saying, “Even if I caused you sorrow… I do not regret it…not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led to your repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:8-9).
It’s never easy to have hard conversations with the ones we love, especially when it might cause dissension. But like Paul pointed out, we won’t regret it. Having tough conversations might be the lifeline that person desperately needs (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Engaging in conflict is never easy, but it’s necessary for full restoration.
Engaging in conflict is never easy, but it’s necessary for full restoration. Here are some tips to help navigate our greatest disputes:
Address grievances quickly. If you aren’t able to meet right away, set up a time where you can. Face-to-face is always best.
Ask yourself: What do I want to see come from this situation? Then tell the person you’re at odds with. Clearly state what it is you need moving forward and ask what they need from you as well.
Remember what you are fighting for. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong…do everything in love.”
Engaging in healthy conflict takes courage, strength, resolve and most importantly love. A war without purpose leads to senseless casualties, but a battle rooted in love is a heroic feat that is always worth the fight.