Monday, August 30, 2010
We had a wonderful service at The Oasis yesterday. As always, we start off with a wonderful praise and worship through song. This always prepares my heart for the message that God has in store for me. Yesterday's message was on conflict and how to deal with it. As I have gotten older, I seem to avoid conflict. I think that I have realized that there are very few things that are worth having conflict with my friends, family and others over. I have found it more important to live my life through a living example of how Christ would want me to live and try to deal with everything through love and compassion. So many times a conflict does not start itself in the conflict you may have, but a truly deeper reason that one has to search out for. Maybe it is as simple as just starting your day off bad. After the message yesterday and pondering over the message, I found that the most conflict in my life is within myself. One of the things that I am really dealing with is watching reality TV. Mother use to always tell me.... Trash In, Trash Out. Meaning that if I listen to trash talk, I eventually will become a trash talker. I found myself excited about certain nights... example~ Monday nights and The Housewife's of New Jersey. AS I watched some trash words were bleeped out while others flowed. Through the show I have taken on some of this thought process which really weighs on my heart. My heart is telling me, This is not what God intends for you to spend your time doing. I have come to the realization that I cannot watch these type of shows without "paying for it" through my actions. This is a conflict that I am dealing with and I intend on crushing it so that pure thoughts can consume me. Because of my illness I have trouble sleeping and the TV becomes my companion. I have chosen now to watch TMC and to watch my art videos. I have also chosen to fill my day with Christian music, His words penetrating my heart. And as I focus on my art, my thoughts again will become much more spiritual... Which I like!
Steps on dealing with CONFLICT....
1. Check your heart and spiritual condition first. Matthew 7:3-5 (New International Version)
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
2. Handle it, Don't avoid it. Ephesians 4:3 (New International Version)
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
3. Handle it quickly. Pray and think through the process, but don't allow the "weirdness" of not being able to face the person set in.
4. Handle it with the person involved and only the person involved. Don't make your conflict any bigger by involving friends. More than likely THEY will side with you.
5. Conflict resolution is the responsibility of BOTH PARTIES.
6. Speak the truth in love realizing you may not know ALL of the truth.
7. Avoid being defensive.
8. Understand the other person's perspective.
9. Stay focused on the issue. Don't get personal.
10. Clarify THE GOAL..... reconciliation or being right.
11. Avoid the tendency to over spiritualize your position. Don't use God or the Bible to undermine the person.
12. Separate what is a preference from what is a principle.
13. If the two of you cannot work it out, involve a third party. Matthew 18:15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
14. If the conflict is in the Church, make a commitment to do what is best for the Church. Do not harm the Church just to try and prove your point.
15. Once the conflict is resolved, reflect and apply what you learned.
17. See conflict as an opportunity to demonstrate the reality that Christ is in you. Let the Holy Spirit control your thought and words.