“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27
Conflict resolution! How do you deal with conflict in your life? I have been studying the Book of Genesis this past year and in looking at Cain, I see how he dealt with conflict. It became a sense of jealousy toward his brother Abel for apparently no other reason than Abel’s devotion for God. Cain’s jealousy turned into anger and rage against his brother to the point that he killed him. Can you see how the devil got his foothold in on Abel, and we then see the end result. What do you do with conflict in your life? Do you let the anger come from your lips, or from your actions?
In James 1:19 we read, “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” We are told to listen first and then be slow to speak. If we would only take the time to do just that, we would find that we can avoid so many conflicts in our lives. We can be teaching that to our children at the same time. Our kids want our attention a lot and are always wanting to tell us something, either why they just did what they did, or that the other person did it! The blame game makes conflict worse. It doesn’t work to point the finger at someone else, cover up one’s own bad choices, or make excuses. Respectful communication is more likely to be heard. This goes both ways, how we listen to our children and how we want our children to listen to us! That’s showing respect, both ways! Again, what are you teaching those children in your circle of influence?
Do you have Cain-like responses, or Abel-like responses? Which one is more beneficial and positive? What are we showing to our children in our responses (that’s the communication) and how we react (that can become the conflict if we aren’t careful enough)?
Ephesians 4:31 says to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” In place of those things, we must “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Powerful words…God forgave me.
Communication and conflict can run hand-in-hand. If we have good, positive communication we can avoid conflict in our lives and also in the lives of those around us.
Father, you communicated Your love to us by sending Jesus to live and die for us. You bring us together as families, and You call us to communicate with each other the very love we receive from You. Teach me, Father, how to do that in a way that honors those around me and glorifies You.
Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013
by Deb Goolsby