Monday, February 11, 2013

Conflict Sucks!

Matthew 18:15-17 ESV
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

We've all been there...the moment when a conflict arises and you don't really know how to handle it, but your emotions take you down a path you know isn't best.  It sucks.  Truly sucks.  Its far too easy to say things, in the heat of a moment, that are hurtful and unkind, and probably don't even represent your deepest feelings, its just the "heat" talking.  The adrenaline just takes over and causes the filter between our brains and our mouths to stop working. 

Unfortunately, the world of social media and email has only added to our problems. I can't tell you how much drama has entered my life via facebook in the 4+ years I've been on that wonderful site!  This weekend was no exception...stupid conflict over misinterpretations and misunderstandings...a total breakdown of adult communication that has had some pretty serious outcomes.  Everything is okay, now, but the pain of it all really stings.  Things were said that cannot be unsaid and feelings were hurt.  Even when it isn't intentional, it never feels good to hurt someone's feelings, does it?

So, I turned to the Bible, to determine if I had handled the conflict, during its growing stages, as best I could.  I read Matthew 18:15-17.  I asked myself "Did you talk to the person in private?" Yes. "Did you talk to the person again, with witnesses?" Yes.  "Did you tell the 'church' (larger group)?" Yes.  "Is the person willing to listen to the issue and work it out?" No. It doesn't appear to be the case. 

Okay, I've done all I can.  I've prayed for God's guidance and have tried to apologize for the things I've done to contribute to the conflict. I've offered to continue the discussion, in a new tone, to no avail.  So, a decision was made. A painful decision and one that is definitely not the easiest decision to follow-through with, but nevertheless, the best decision.  Now, its time to just move on. 

Sometimes, relationships can be salvaged after conflicts. Othertimes, they cannot.  The last line of this portion of scripture says "And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."  God is simply telling us not every relationships can survive a conflict and he tells us to move on.  He doesn't say dwell on it.  He doesn't say let it fester. He simply says the relationship is different - move on.

So, that's what I'm doing...moving on.  This piece of my life's puzzle will teach me something and I'll seek to learn all I can.  Its okay. I'm at peace with it.  

Conflict isn't pretty, but God tell's us exactly how to handle it, doesn't He?  Good to know He's really right there...on top of it.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes thru heartache and turmoil comes great new things that one may not have seen thru clear eyes. Without bad, we wouldnt know how to appreciate good. Its why we strive for better. Great days will come :-)