Fresh Hope – 27th May 2019

Over the next two days, let’s focus on a number of healthy ways to resolve conflict in any relationship:

1. OWN YOUR PART OF THE CONFLICT
Conflict and even bad chemistry is almost never 100% one person’s fault.
Thinking you’re not part of the problem is often the problem.

One of the best expressions I’ve heard of how to figure out the extent to which you might be part of the problem is to ask a compelling question: What’s it like to be on the other side of me?!

2. GO DIRECT
Often issues are mishandled because we talk about someone rather than to someone.
Jesus was crystal clear on how to handle conflict, but very few Christians follow his practice. In the name of being ‘nice’, we become ineffective.
Talk to the person you have the problem with. Directly. If you haven’t got the courage to do it, maybe the problem isn’t even big enough to worry about.

When you’re in conflict, stop talking about people. Start talking to them.

3. BELIEVE THE BEST ABOUT OTHERS
It’s easy to assign bad motives to people. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt.  They might not realize how they are coming across. Believe the best about others; don’t assume the worst.
Believing the best can help you address an issue directly without ruining the relationship. It can turn hurtful into helpful. Here’s an example: “Rachel, you might not realize this, but sometimes your emails can come across as demanding or even demeaning. I’m not sure you’re aware of that, but I just wanted to let you know how they leave me feeling sometimes. I know you probably don’t mean to do that.”
That gives the person an out, and frankly, many times, they probably had no idea they were coming across negatively.
When you believe the best about others, you tend to get the best from others.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:6‬ ‭

Pastor Mark

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