By looking through our role in whatever conflict we find ourselves in, there must be two types of fault we avoid:
- An overly-sensitive attitude, when you are easily offended by another person´s behavior, and
- Sinful behavior, which you yourself may have brought
Overlook Minor Offenses
“In many situations, the best way to resolve a conflict is simply to overlook the personal offenses of others” (p.82), which is how God sees it:
Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 17:14 – The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Just as God has forgiven us of sin, we should do the same, and see God’s model as one to follow. When we overlook minor offenses, it shouldn’t be passive in avoiding dealing with an issue that causes you to resent or become bitter and angry, which will explode at a later time. It should rather be an active process that shows mercy to the other person who wrongs you in a way where you do not hold it against them, or let it cause you to become bitter. This is a direct result of the Gospel’s work in a person.
Check Your Attitude – and Change It
One of the reasons we sometimes find it difficult to overlook offenses is that we have an overly sensitive attitude or a tendency to dwell on what others have done. One way to guard against this problem is to check your attitude in the light of God’s Word. (p.83)
5 principles Paul lays out in Philippians 4:2-9:
- Rejoice in the Lord always (v.4)
- Let your gentleness be evident to all (v.5)
- Replace anxiety with prayer (v.6)
- See things as they really are (v.8)
- Practice what you learned (v.9)
Count the Cost
Another way to avoid unnecessary conflict is to consider the cost of unresolved conflict. Conflict is often much more expensive than we expect it to be. Unresolved disputes can consume large amounts of time, energy, and money, leaving you emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Worst of all, as long as a disagreement is unresolved, there is the potential for further damage to a relationship. (p.90)