Conflict can be local; among friends, family members and even among spouses who vowed “till death do us part”. And, this conflict can extend throughout the globe. Why? Can this conflict be resolved or at the very least, prevented from even starting to smolder ?
Why have conflict?:
Any expert will agree that before embarking on how to resolve or prevent conflict, one has to define the basic origin of the problem that led to the conflict. One can surmise that with so many cultures, educational background, society’s norms and acceptance leading to experiential knowledge embedded in our brain that determines the “patho-physiologic” mechanism of responses/actions, no wonder, conflict is a “given”. Really? Do these differences constitute the “basic problem”?
What better resource can one research about this subject than the Bible? And, can we heed, what the apostle James indicated, to be the “basic problem” ? Here is what he said in James 4:1-3
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Notice that James linked “quarrels, fights” to “passion, desire, covet and ask wrongly“.
Still, it begs the question, why do we have all these? The apostle Paul directed our attention to the common denominator of all of these, as in:
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
In a nutshell, these are “pull or works of the flesh” , meaning, because we were created humans and “flesh-composed”. Going back to Genesis, we are indeed “flesh-composed”, from “dust of the ground”(Genesis 2:7).
And being so composed, we learn through our 5 senses and respond to situations depending on our different experiential and accumulated knowledge through the years.
Be that as it may, can we “prevent conflict” while in this “flesh-composed existence”?
How to Resolve?
First and foremost is for no one to “assume the worst of intention from the other person” as this automatically “pits one against another”…an antagonistic stance that changes the dynamics of how a person will proceed in resolving conflict.
The advice of Paul makes sense in Philippians 4:8
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely andbrings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
If we take this attitude from the beginning, it sets the tone for reconciliation of what appeared to be conflict…which maybe not. Ask the other person, “Why he/she said that or did that, and what was the intention?” Don’t assume “mal-intention” from the other party to the conflict.
Original post: 4/19/2022:
Critique is welcome after reading all for context; please tap on hyperlinks for references and make time to read all.