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Daily Devo- Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a a normal part of life. No one can escape the pain of broken relationships– it is part of living life in a broken, fallen world. Although pain may not be able to be avoided– becoming bitter over the pain caused can be.

The Bible presents to us the ‘freedom of forgiveness’. It also shows us that Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, gives each believer the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Before we can reconcile any differences- we must first diagnose the condition of our own heart. Checking ourselves against the eight potentially problematic areas.

8 Areas to Examine in Our Heart

  1. Pride- Do I focus on how much I have been wronged?
  2. Faultfinding- Do I search and rehearse the faults of others?
  3. Avoidance- Do I avoid being around those I have conflict with?
  4. Silence- Do I shut down and refuse to share what I am feeling in a healthy way?
  5. Isolation- Do I withdraw emotionally?
  6. Unfaithfulness- Do I share unnecessary information about my opposer?
  7. Hopelessness- Do I lack faith that God can work in any situation?
  8. Resentment- Do I hold on to my anger until it turns into bitterness?

Hebrews 12:14-15

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled

The Bible tells us to pursue peace with all people.

How to reconcile

The process of mending relationships and reconciliation of conflict can occur when both parties are willing to listen and communicate without interrupting each other. Both need to show respect and acknowledge there are two sides to every story, two sets of feelings, two hearts that need healing, and two different perceptions of what happened.

6 Do’s of reconciliation

  1. See the situation
  2. Repeat back what you heard
  3. Use words that are encouraging
  4. Be open minded and respectful
  5. Accept you only have the power to change yourself
  6. Be at peace

6 Don’ts of Reconciliation

  1. Don’t forget your opposer is also God’s creation
  2. Don’t hold on to resentment, bitterness, or hatred
  3. Don’t use ‘you’ statements. (You should…You made me…You always..etc)
  4. Don’t get drawn into useless arguing
  5. Don’t expect change immediately
  6. Don’t assume every situation can be reconciled

Apologize and Forgive

The healing of two wounded hearts can’t happen if both parties refuse to ask for forgiveness from the other. We must be careful not to further offend or complicate the situation when we are asking for forgiveness.

5 helpful tips when apologizing

  1. Don’t make excuses
  2. Don’t use the blame game or ‘you’ statements
  3. Accept full responsibility (My attitude was inexcusable)
  4. Accept full blame for your part in the situation (No one can make someone else sin- I acknowledge I sinned against you…)
  5. With a humble heart and attitude explain you have tried to see the situation from their point of view….)

All healing takes time– regardless of the type of wound– physical, mental, or emotional. A wound cannot heal if we don’t leave it alone. Forgiveness works in a similar manner– it can not do its’ job if we don’t give it time. God can use us to help the process by taking these practical steps:

  • Recognize that forgiving someone does not mean they are ‘off the hook’. It means you are no longer carrying the offense and have turned it over to God to handle. It transfers it from your hook to God’s hook.
  • Make the decision that you no longer want to bare the pain from the past.
  • Recognize the unmet needs of the one who hurt you and pray for them.
  • Make a list of each offense you are holding unforgiveness about and release each one to God.

Each person has to accept that there is a chance that the end result could be a negative outcome. Sometimes, the relationship just may not work out between two people. The responsibility cannot fall solely on one of them. Effective and freeing reconciliation comes when both parties handle the process in a Godly manner.

Romans 12:18

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your forgiveness and guidance on reconciling our differences. We know that conflict is going to happen and we ask that you help us handle it in a Godly manner. Forgive me for not always seeking Your counsel before handling situations in the past. God I hand each offense I carry today over to you. Lord help expose to me my own heart and show me where I need improvement. Guide me in the process of reconciliation and help me to remember the do’s and don’ts. I pray that you would help me to live peaceably with all men and forgive just as you have forgiven me. It is in Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo: Peace Over Strife

It’s no secret that the world is full of hatred, strife, and down right ugliness. Friends are turning against one another- families are being torn apart- and the country has never been more divided than it is today.

It is nearly impossible to turn on the television, log in to social media, or read the news without seeing story after story about the hatred, violence, and anger that is sweeping our nation.

This is a heart problem above all else. People are lashing out toward one another due to the hatred, pride, and self-serving attitudes within their hearts.

What happened to the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all.”

It seems as if that is an outdated or moot teaching point with the new generations. Today’s culture is over sensitive, entitled, and hateful towards those who do not believe or live the same way they do.

It’s very much a MY WAY or NO WAY type of society.

God and the Bible have slowly been being phased out of schools and communities for years. This leaves one to wonder where the moral basis of life, love, and liberty are coming from.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

James 4:1 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+4%3A1&version=NKJV

The Bible tell us in James 4:1 where our fighting and troubles come from. They come from within ourselves- our desires for pleasure can quickly run our life, especially if we aren’t on guard and seeking God’s guidance above all else.

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+10%3A12&version=NKJV

Hatred and pride are roots causes of strife.

Currently we are seeing hatred for our president that is so strong it has divided our nation to the core. People are attacking each other because they think different- vote different- believe different- and live or look differently than themselves.

It is heartbreaking to see- I can’t imagine how our Father in Heaven feels!

God tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER- that love covers all sins.

Behind strife is pride- behind peace is humility.

By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+13%3A9-10&version=NKJV

Pride leads to strife- strife leads to destruction

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+16%3A18&version=NKJV

Nothing good comes from holding on to hatred- we need to humble ourselves before God. Begin to look within ourselves and get our own hearts right.

We are to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Just as we want God to forgive us when we fall short- we are to forgive others in the same way.

Humility comes from a place of self-reflection and self-growth. Learning to accept people’s differences and still show love knowing we ourselves are not perfect. God knew there would be trouble in the world due to our sinful nature and provided us with His Word (the Bible) as instruction on how to have a fulfilling life of peace, joy, and salvation.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NKJV

There is power in peace.

To gain peace we must humble our selves in the Word of God. Accept our own short-comings and seek God above all else. When we learn to be at peace with ourselves, accept our own faults, and live only to please God- we unlock a power that can’t be reckoned with.

Living in peace is giving God all your worries, fears, troubles, and your whole heart. Trusting in Him to provide all your needs and to guide your paths. Knowing no matter your circumstances God is with you and He works on your behalf.

The Lord wants to help us and be our guiding light but when we are living in strife our focus is quickly shifted from Him resulting in a downward spiral that robs our peace and joy.

The Bible tells us we are to do all we can to be at peace with everyone.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrew 12:14 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12%3A14&version=NKJV

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 

10 For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:9-11 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+3%3A9-11&version=NKJV

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A18&version=NKJV

We are not designed to live in such a high stress, violent, and hateful world. The Lord wants us to live a peaceful and prosperous life in Him. Like anything else in life- change starts with ourselves.

It is time for the country to stand together in peace and prayer. Each of us making the decision to change our focus and attitude- to diligently seek Him above all else- and learn to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a forgiving and patient God. A God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Lord the world is full of hatred and strife and it is very difficult not to be sucked in. The negativity, lies, and personal attacks on one another are at an all time high. Lord I ask that you help me search deep within myself- expose to me the condition of my own heart. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. I pray that each person would open their hearts to You- so that you may expose Your truth to them. I pray that each person who comes to You and truly seeks You with all their heart will find You and Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Father, I pray for our broken world- I pray that each would repent from their sins, so that you may heal the land. I pray Your guidance, protection, and mercy over our nation and world as a whole. Let us all shift our focus to You and strive to live peaceably above all men. I declare no weapon formed against our nation shall prosper- God You are in Control- Let Your Will be done in Jesus might name I pray

Amen

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