How do we deal with conflict? Is there a black and white answer, or is addressing conflict a gray area where we precede forward with black and white principles. Conflict comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes we can prep for it, or it can come and completely blindside us. Whether it be:
- In our marriages
- With our children
- On our jobs
- In the church
- With our in-laws! (Ha! A little joke)
Whenever or however it comes, we will all face conflict. So what should we do when it rises? I believe a good start would be looking at the power of our words we speak. And the reason why I suggest that is because we have just started a sermon series entitled, “Tongue Pierced: The Power of Words.” This has been such an eye-opening series for all of us that we could probably spend an entire year on our words and their impact.
What kind of power do our words hold? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue…” WOW! Think about that! Not only do they contain that power, but we also see in Genesis 1 that words have the ability to create. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 13:1 tell us, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established…” So not only do words have the power to create, but they also have the power to establish context in our lives.
So how does all this relate to conflict? It relates because we need to be careful of the words we speak during conflict and who we address our conflicts with…such as in “venting.” Conflict will never be resolved by speaking negative or derogatory words into the situation where conflict is present. And when we are venting to someone else concerning our conflict, it can create a context that was not there to further drive the conflict deeper because two and three witnesses have established something that is contrary to the solution needed to move forward.
Here’s the call-to-action, and it’s simple! Start asking yourself, “What will be the consequence of this thought, word or action?” Everything we do will have a ripple effect, so it’s important that we consider that ripple. Our ripples with either create conflict or resolve it…what are your ripples speaking?
Obviously there are other answers that could help resolve conflict when it arises, but I wanted to start with the words we speak because it is something that has hit home for a lot of us lately. And I believe that we change the world one ripple at a time if we honestly ask ourselves, “What will be the consequence of ___________________?” (You fill in the blank.)
Click on this link to read another article about addressing conflict and how we can address it more effectively in other areas of our lives http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-how-tos/247780-address-conflict-ministry.html
Comment below and tell us how words have impacted your life, whether to create conflict or to help dissolve it. What consequences have you been exposed to?