conflict resolution - Printable Version

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conflict resolution - HelenaZF - 03-04-2007

How are you and the people around you at conflict resolution? I'm finding it's a skill that not everyone has mastered....or even practiced. In fact, I'm finding people skilled at conflict resolution to be quite rare.

In my family, it was something that we were not taught. What were were taught is that if there was conflict, we would not deal with it in order to keep "the peace". So learning to work through conflicts with others was something that I learned in adulthood.

It seems to me that it's an issue that plagues the church as well...and of course it would, since the church is people. It's a sad state that doesn't seem to ever improve, that I've noticed. What are your observations?

conflict resolution - flaglady - 03-05-2007

Yes, really tough that! The people who don't run away from conflict are, more often than not, the ones who engeander it while others run away! I'm definitely a runner! And I have BIG problems with authority figures - guess that comes from my time as a nursing student when 'being sent to Matron's office' was little short of going to the block! I still tremble at the thought!

conflict resolution - HelenaZF - 03-06-2007

I'm not saying it's easy...it's not. But I think you have to learn to do it somewhere along the way, or your growth towards christian maturity is stunted. It seems the pool of stunted people has increased....or maybe I'm just more aware of it.

conflict resolution - Phred - 03-06-2007

Could it be that pholks have either forgotten or ignored that knotty little passage in Matthew 18? Or any of the others that speak pretty bluntly about what to do when you're holding some grudge or ill-feeling against a believer or when you know they're holding something against you?

Maybe pastors and teachers have quietly ignored that one for a while, putting it in the category of good advice.

Maybe we can get Dean to talk about how the Jews view those little "thou shalts" of the Old Testament era. They seem to have a different perspective on it that's kind of phun.

conflict resolution - sonworshiper - 03-07-2007

Wow. . .conflict management. . . What a concept! Wink

I think, to me, it would depend on what exactly the conflict is. If it's a differing of opinion, even on Biblical issues, there can often be room for even a heated discussion and disagreement. (don't ya think?) If it's over sin--well then. . .the Bible could definitely win out there! If it's cuz someone doesn't like piercings and tats, well, that's a personal opinion and to me just doesn't matter at all. . . . If it's on a misunderstanding, if (like me) it would eat at you until it's resolved, then you just have to jump on in and bring it up to clarify things.

In my family growing up, there was one way--my parents' way, and there was no give there. In our family here, we disagree and have discussions--although not all that heated. I think our home is pretty healthy when it comes to that. Some things I've learned over the years, you (I) just have to "let go". . .cuz idiscussing or arguing just isn't going to change anyone's anything. Wink

For one woman that I had a conflict with, I totally let her "have it". I did not give her an inch and on a certain subject (you could consider it a matter of purity) I will not budge. I'd argue, disagree, or have conflict with many people, depending on their opinions on some subjects.

Sometimes I think that as Christians, we're taught far too often that we have to "turn the other cheek" -- after all, Jesus did too, right? He also overturned the tables in the temple, because it was, well, wrong. Righteous anger. Smile

My little rant. . .




conflict resolution - HelenaZF - 03-07-2007

You bring up a good point Moe, because part of the issue is discerning what conflicts NEED resolution, and what ones don't. With certain matters, and certain people....there is no profit in pursuing resolution.

But with friends, or brothers in the church, there often isn't even enough contact/effort made in conflicts to "agree to disagree". There is often just distance and a broken relationship that stays that way. And I think part of that is insecurity and fear, and another part is not ever having practiced going head-to-head with someone with both coming out alive at the end. We think it will end horribly, so often we don't even try.

Of course, I can think of a couple of instances in my own history where I went head-to-head with someone and it did end up as bad or worse than before we tried to work it out. That sort of thing makes you not want to try. And yet, we are compelled by our love and devotion to the Lord to be vessels of reconciliation. And as Phred said, we have the directives of Matthew 18. We just don't come with the knowledge of how to do that built into us.

conflict resolution - DeanZF - 03-07-2007

When it comes to issues of purity and righteousness and other absolutes, God does not provide gray areas. Especially in the "thou shalt NOT" areas. Smile

You're right, Moe, in a lot of areas it is personal preference. Even within a lot of the areas that some would consider theology. A biggie for a lot of years was the whole issue of the rapture. I know people who broke fellowship because the other guy was pre, post, pan, or a-millenial in their tribulation views. YOY! There's room here for everyone. And about tatts and piercings, I personally think you're right again. Scripture does say that we should not tattoo, but I don't think God's going to bar us or the tattoo'd member(s) of your body from going through the pearly gates, especially for things done "BC"--Before Christ. IMHO.

When we start to talk about the fundamentals, it's a very different issue. Born again for entry into heaven is a fundamental for me. Baptism is important, but I personally don't get excited about any of the four types. If you've been baptized, that's cool. If not, why not, but I'm not convinced that your salvation depends on that water. It was important for Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch, though...

It's hard to figure out where you're going to take stands sometimes, though. Had a pastor friend whose sunday school superintendant was sleeping with her live-in boyfriend and had no intention of stopping the behavior. They were both in their 50s. The pastor was in his 40s and just did not want this bad behavior exhibited as an appropriate model for leadership. The issue split his Presbyterian church!!!!! Sin is ok if you're a sunday school teacher? Or a church musician?? They'd have skinned him and hung his bloody carcass out to dry if HE'd been in sin.

Bad behavior should not be rewarded or accepted, in my view. One person on a team who is chronically late only gets a couple of warnings. Everyone is held to the standard, leaders included. Rules are made to be KEPT, not to be broken. That's the kind of confrontation that I'm talking about. We're all called to confront sinners gently with the idea of winning their repentance, not with the idea of punishing them. If you have a wishy washy pastor, when you're leading a ministry in a congregation, you may have troubles getting support for confronting sin OR bad behavior!