Friday, June 10, 2022

Resolving Conflict


Practical steps to aid in conflict resolution

~~Video Coming Soon~~


  1. Introduction
  2. Traits of Wholeness
  3. Reconciliation Review
  4. Being a Peacemaker
  5. Addressing Conflict
  6. Path to Avoiding Conflict
  7. 3 Unhealthy Communication Practices
  8. Strategies for Addressing Conflict
  9. Your Witness
  10. Turn to The Father


  • Ephesians 4:15
  • Hebrews 12:14
  • Romans 12:18
  • Psalms 141:3
  • Proverbs 28:13
  • Colossians 4:5-6

Ephesians 4:15

but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ

Through our discussions on anger, we have discovered that different people have different views on anger and conflict.  Some view anger and conflict as bad.  Some think it’s okay to be angry, but it’s bad to show it.  Some feel that expressing anger and having conflict is normal and necessary, and may even use it as a tool to get their way.   And yet others are entertained by conflict and start arguments to amuse themselves or to relieve boredom.

Regardless of what we think of conflict, resolving conflict is an important skill that we need in order to navigate through life effectively.  

You have to know how to resolve conflict

  • In romantic relationships
  • Family
  • At work
  • In Bible studies and small groups
  • With your kids
  • With your neighbors

But nobody taught you how to do it.

The Bible calls for us to be peacemakers, yet Jesus puts a high value not just on forgiving, but initiating reconciliation.  Many of us prefer to ignore the difficult issues and hope that they will go away. But we are also called to speak the truth (in love) regardless of the outcome.

We need to learn to confront problems with other people in a biblical way.

One of the major aspects of wholeness is becoming mentally and emotionally healthy in your thinking.   The other aspect involves how you relate with other people.

Traits of Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be  _______ healthy

  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • mentally

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from experiences/wounds of the past

We’re not just supposed to have eternal life

  • We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience, and self control here on earth

Learning not just what The Word instructs us to do, but learning how to implement it in our lives

Traits of Wholeness

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Not seeking external approval / validation
  • Living by values and principles
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Taking ownership of your responsibilities
  • Living with purpose and passion
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Healthy relationships with others
  • Not losing control of your emotions
  • Free from addictions
  • Addressing Conflict with truth and love
  • Vulnerability
  • Not critical or Judgemental
  • Not jealous
  • Genuinely applaud the success of others
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  • Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Selfless encounters with others
  • Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  • You care about how others feel - empathy
  • Patient
  • Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  • Can communicate directly
  • Don’t take responsibility for other people's emotions
  • Take responsibility for your own emotions
  • Slow to anger
  • Ability to maturely express your wants, needs and desires
  • Being led by the Spirit

Reconciliation Review

God’s View on Anger

Our goal is not to be angry at the right thing…righteous anger

God asks us to be

  • Slow to anger
  • Don’t stay angry long

Chronic Anger causes

  • Health problems
  • Damaged relationships

Leave Your Gift at the Altar

You need to initiate reconciliation when you have said something in anger

Not reconciling impacts your relationships with God

Harmony in your relationships is more important than giving your offering

Forgiveness vs Reconciliation

Forgiveness says you don’t owe me…

  • Repayment
  • An apology
  • Accepting the blame
  • Admittance of wrongdoing
  • An explanation
  • Gratitude

Reconciliation is restoring the relationship

You can have one without the other

Steps to Reconcile

  • Ask God for wisdom
  • Focus on reconciliation not “winning”
  • Do your part
  • Choose the right time
  • Begin with what’s my fault
  • Avoid offensive language
  • Don’t respond harshly
  • Seek to understand before seeking to be understood
  • Listen to their heart and perspective
  • Don’t dismiss their fears
  • Don’t be self-centered

Being a Peacemaker

Hebrews 12:14

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

How can you be a peacemaker?

Ignoring Conflict: False Peacemakers

When, out of fear, we avoid conflict… We become false peacemakers


If you don’t say something when your spouse is coming home late from work because you want to be like Christ, but you can give them the cold shoulder… You are a false peacemaker

If you are on a budget and order something small at a group dinner, but someone suggested splitting the bill if you don’t say anything… You are a false peacemaker

Someone asked you to marry them but you aren’t completely decided...but you say yes to avoid embarrassing them

Going to see your parents on holidays when you don’t want to

Not telling someone how their behavior is killing your relationship because they have had a tough life

True peacemaking doesn’t happen by saying what is wrong is right

Peacemaker vs Peacekeeper

Romans 12:18

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.

Example: Russia attacks the Ukraine

  • Keeping peace doesn’t mean you let them take the country
  • You have to initiate peace talks

Example: Peacekeeper missile

  • Designed to retaliate against an attack

Peacemaking is not

  • Avoiding
  • Appeasing

That’s not peacemaking… That’s cowardice

it’s not about always letting the other person get their way

This is what it means to be a “peacemaker“ instead of “peacekeeper“

Importance of Addressing Conflict With Your Spouse

Addressing Conflict

The number one determiner of success in a marriage is the ability to resolve conflict

—Rick Warren

When you don’t resolve your conflicts you’re putting thin layers of resentment between you and the other person

Sometimes you can help people be free of something if you confront them and not just let them keep getting by with it

Skunks and Turtles

In every marriage there are:

  • Skunks and turtles

When there’s an argument skunks stink the place up

They let everyone know when they’re unhappy

Turtles go into a shell and hide when there’s conflict

Conflict is Necessary

Conflict is not a bad thing

if you don’t have conflict… You don’t have a real relationship

Healthy relationships are marked by conflict

Hard conversations are not fun… But they are not optional either

If you fight all the time it might mean that you haven’t learned how to resolve conflict

You Need to Address Repeating Issues

Time Won’t Fix It

Time doesn’t heal all wounds

  • Cancer
  • Getting shot

It gets worse

You wouldn’t need to go see a doctor you could just sit in the waiting room

“Time heals some wounds…others need to be treated”

Problems With Not Addressing the Issue

  • Hiding our vulnerability
  • Closing the door for reconciliation

Path to Avoiding Conflict

Checking out assumptions

Our assumptions are misrepresentation of reality

you leave the window open for believing a lie

We shouldn’t take on the role of judges for others

sometimes… We think we know what they’re thinking

  • … So we are weird towards them
  • … So they think we think…

Clarify Your Assumption

Tell the person you want to check out in assumption that you think they are making


Do I have permission to check out an assumption  I am making

  • I think you think…
  • I assume you are thinking…

Is this correct?

Example: so are you thinking that because he took care of our uncle that he should get to live rent free for the rest of his life?

We don’t want people to think we are silly

 It often has nothing to do with you at all

Because we don’t want to confront the person…we go to somebody else… And make the problem worse

Voice Unspoken Expectations

We expect other people to know what we want before we say it… Especially if they are invested in the relationship


Of course you are coming to the family event… We are important to you aren’t we?

I never knew the job involved all of that… You never told me

My adult son should know that I need him to come over and fix things. I shouldn’t have to ask.

I expected that a good marriage just happened naturally

I’m the only one caring for my aging parents… My siblings expect me to do everything.

If she really cared about me… She would call me

In a good church everyone should be friendly and supportive when someone is hurting

Expectations are only valid and they have been mutually communicated

Expectations need to be

  • Conscious
  • Realistic
  • Spoken
  • Agreed-upon

Become Aware of Your Triggers

An emotional trigger is an intense reaction to something in the present that reminds us, consciously or unconsciously, of an event in our history

We haven’t healed from a wound from the past

We end up treating someone with who we are in a relationship now as if they were someone from the past.  


Tom’s wife wanted to go away for the weekend with her girlfriends.

  • Tom got upset
  • It reminded him of early feelings of his parent’s emotional unavailability

Theresa’s husband was watching television instead of parenting her children

  • she gets very angry
  • She attacks and belittles him
  • unconsciously it reminds her of her father that left her when she was seven years old.  
  • leaving her and her mom to fend for themselves.  

Establish Rules of Fair Play

In a relationship you need to establish ground rules of “fair communication“.

  • You need to take some words and say that they are off-limit
  • “Divorce”

Example: during the cold war we agreed that certain weapons were off limits

  • No WMDs
  • You know what words will push their buttons

Example: narcissists find out what your insecure about

3 Unhealthy Communication Practices

Silent Treatment / Stonewalling


You were having an argument

You recognize your part in that fight, and you apologize

They know that you want to hear them apologize or tell them that it’s OK everything is alright

They purposely withholds that assurance so that you can go a while in an uncomfortable and maybe feel insecure about the relationship

You naturally worry about how long they’ll be angry with you

They withdraw and don’t talk to you for a while

This leaves you to fret about the state of the relationship  

Short Responses

They are giving bare minimum answers with little or no detail

Why People Give the Silent Treatment

Why do people give the silent treatment?


“You hurt me, so I am going to hurt you back.”

They’re not going to be satisfied until they feels that

  • you’ve been shamed enough
  • that they’ve extracted enough pain from you
  • they have taught you the lesson than that they’re trying to teach you


hope that they will break down and concede to their wishes.

Physiologically flooded.

This means that your body releases so much stress hormone that you dip into your survival instincts

  • flight, fight, freeze, or fawn
  • they freeze
  • lose your relational instincts (problem-solving, humor, affection, etc.).

Solutiontake a break and self-soothe by deep breathing, walking, exercising, etc. It’ll take about 20 minutes for stress hormones to leave your body.

Other Reasons People Are Silent

Not necessarily the “silent treatment”

  • Avoid conflict
  • Not blow up
  • Processing

Passive Aggressive

It’s harmful if done passive-aggressive

  • doesn’t acknowledge that they were hurt

gives the appearance of right doing or compliance with a covert negative behavior that’s harder to see


They need to punish you when they are angry

This type of toxic behavior is hard to change, but it can change if the person is willing to do some work


How do you respond when someone gives you the silent treatment?

  • ignore them and walk away
  • Give time to process their anger.
  • Some people need some distance when they are hurting or angry
  • Don’t seem bothered by the silence
  • Can break the silence because it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect

Calling them out on the silence is not going to help

Story: my ex didn’t give me the silent treatment


Psalms 141:3

3Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;

keep watch at the door of my lips.

Contempt is criticism because that comes with an element of superiority; one person expresses discontent by also using shame and mean-spirited sarcasm to put down another person.

Solution: Describe Your Own Feelings & Needs

Solution: “I Feel” message

How to communicate your needs when you feel angry

I feel ___ when you ___

I feel angry / hurt / disappointed when you…

  • I feel hurt when you pay more attention to the kids than me
  • I feel hurt when you give more of your energy to work than me
  • I felt disappointment when you forgot our anniversary
  • I feel rejected when I want to draw close to you physically, and you give me the cold shoulder
  • I feel afraid/belittled when you shout and raise your voice
  • I feel left out when you call a meeting with all the supervisors and I’m not included
  • I feel hurt when you don’t share with me what you share with other people
  • I feel kind of rejected when I text or call you and I don’t hear back from you for a couple of days

I Wish…

I feel __ when you __, I wish…

  • I feel disappointed that you didn’t trust me with that information…I wish you could …
  • I wish we could talk calmly about our schedules


Defensiveness is a reaction to (real or perceived) criticism

Defensiveness looks like:

  • Overexplaining
  • Taking on a victim mentality
  • Counter-criticizing

Be Open to Criticism

Relationships implode when you can’t process your anger.  It will accumulate.

We should have the attitude that you can say whatever you want to me.

  • I may not agree with what you’re saying.
  • I may not understand what you’re saying, but you are not going to pay a price for saying it.  

If you love someone and are trying to meet their needs you shouldn’t be threatened to hear a complaint from them.

Although some people use criticism/complaining for manipulation/control

Take Responsibility For Your Part

Proverbs 28:13

13One who conceals his wrongdoings will not prosper,

But one who confesses and abandons them will find compassion.

Try taking responsibility for your part of the conflict, even if you believe you only own a small portion of the issue.

Validate the other person’s perspective of the situation, even if you disagree with them. This will help you both de-escalate and determine a solution that gets the unmet need met.

Your Witness

Colossians 4:5-6

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Story: honk at someone because late to church

If you are angry and cursing… No one will see God in you

What response will let them know I’m a Christian?

Conflict isn’t an opportunity to display our anger. It is an opportunity to display our self control.

Being a Christian means restraining our response to anger and yielding it to God spirit

The greatest opportunity for Christians to display their faith… A situation of conflict

Turn to The Father

The Father is with you during your conflict - a Michael Jr

Instructor: Michael Leadon


Learn how to resolve conflict and restore relationships With Rick Warren

Saddleback Church

Emotionally healthy spirituality

Peter Scazzero

Poor communicator or the silent treatment question: how do you deal with it?

Dr. Tracy Marks

Confrontation is necessary

Joyce Meyer

You don't have to fear conflict

Bethel Transformation Center


Proverbs 18:17 ESV

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Matthew 10:34-36

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household.

The first cause of conflict is self-centeredness

  • The second cause of conflict is pride
  • Humble people don’t get their feelings hurt, prideful people do and
  •  when my ego gets wounded then we have conflict

Proverbs 13:10

Through overconfidence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.


Secret words that will resolve any relational conflict

  • “I’m sorry… I was only thinking of myself“

Ephesians 4:1-3

1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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