// Kenneth W. Hagin
WHEN CONFLICT arises in your life, do you know how to handle it? Do your tactics lead to heated debate, strife, and more problems? Do you refuse to deal with adversity by pretending that it doesn't exist?
We need to learn how to handle conflicts when they arise. Situations that aren't dealt with become opportunities for strife, confusion, and offense.
Open Your Heart
Before conflict can be resolved, both parties must be willing to open their hearts and listen to one another. Oftentimes, the reason there is no resolution is that one or more parties have become close-minded. Those people aren't making room in their hearts for anyone; they're only making room for more offense and trouble! If resolving conflict is really the goal, part of the resolution should include openness, both when you're speaking and when you're listening! A "fair exchange" must be part of the process.
Deal Squarely With Issues
If you know you had a part to play in the situation, be accountable for your role in creating the disharmony. Face the issue squarely. It's still in good taste to say, "I'm sorry" when we miss it!
Have you ever noticed that people who don't deal squarely with issues can be mean and difficult to get along with? How much better to be open—to face the situation directly in the right spirit—rather than allow that conflict to fan into a raging fire of hatred and strife! If you choose to deal scripturally with conflict by meeting the issue head-on, there is no guarantee that the other person will participate equally and with the same amount of enthusiasm. You can only decide for yourself how you will act. And if you handled the issue biblically, you can rest in the knowledge that you did the right thing.
Do Not Condemn
A person who sincerely desires to resolve disagreements will never condemn others but will approach the situation with kindness and gentleness. Whether the situation exists between employers and employees, husband and wives, parents and children, or among friends or co-workers, people have feelings—no matter who they are and regardless of their age or status in life. No one should ever criticize or condemn another person so that the person feels worthless and hopeless.
Value the People Involved
For conflicts to be resolved, the people involved must feel like they are loved and worthwhile. You must express confidence in the other party. If someone offended you, you need to say, "No matter what has happened, I still have confidence in you. I still believe in you." Building another person's feelings of self-worth makes them more eager to resolve a conflict and solidify the relationship.
Resolution and Healing
Conflict resolution doesn't always happen overnight, especially if it has been going on for a long time or if it has been silenced, either through ignorance or willfulness. If you haven't spoken to a loved one in years, I encourage you to settle the issue today! Begin by forgiving the other person if you haven't already done so. Then try establishing some kind of openness. Many times, it only takes a small gesture on the part of one person to begin the process of reestablishing valuable relationships.
God knew that we would experience conflicts in life. The key is to be willing and ready to resolve it as it comes. We can do that by being open, direct, gentle, and non-critical; by desiring restoration and unity; and by valuing all the people in our lives as precious and as those for whom Christ died.