DEALING WITH UNRESOLVED CONFLICTS
When possible, clearing up unresolved conflicts is the better path to follow. However, in life not all conflicts are solvable. And then we have people who seem to love conflict and show little inclination to mend fences and move on. “I am right, and you are wrong and that’s the end of the story!” So, what do we do in such cases?
Often in scripture, Jesus erected the standard but never argued or insisted that people tow the line. When he shared the “one thing” the rich man lacked was to sell what he had and give to the poor, the man resisted the message and “went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Did Jesus chase after him? Argue the point? Or negotiate something less demanding? No. He simply watched him go. (Matt: 19:22)
Not all arguments start with two sides and end with one winner! There are many times in life when we simply must agree to disagree and move on. Everyone looks at life through their own prism.
When we give up our right to be right and choose to move on, it defuses sensitive situations and clears a path forward for more meaningful relationships. Too often we allow differences and resentments to fracture relationships when God’s ordained way of handling it is to let it go! “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?” Romans 14:4 asks us. Only God can truly judge fairly.
God’s Word counsels us to “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil …Do all you can to live in peace with everyone …Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Rom. 12:16-18, 21 NLT) The NIV renders verse 18 this way: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Everyone!
Jesus pointed out that the foundation for our forgiveness of others is God’s forgiveness of us. In his model prayer he instructed us to pray in this manner, “forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” And he taught us that, “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:5-15) This is an sobering statement! Jesus said, “If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us.” To be clear, the forgiveness spoken of here has nothing to do with a loss of our eternal salvation, but to the barrier unforgiveness causes in our relationship with God. Like a child who refuses to obey his parents. Resentments against others is like dirt in a pipe that blocks the flow of meaningful fellowship with God and diminishes the joy of an unbroken relationship with Him.
To truly experience the peace of Christ we must quit embracing our unresolved conflicts and release others to live their own lives. (Phil. 2:12-15) Inner peace is gained when we let go of our differences and refuse to give up any more of God’s joy and promise by stewing over things we can’t change. The fact is, “The more you hang out where the past is, the more it comes calling.” Let it go!
Galatians 6:15-16 offers a beautiful benediction to the issue of conflicts. “What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.”
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Romans 12:1-21; 14:1-5; Ezekiel 36:26-27; 37:7-14; Romans 12:19; Ephesians 6:4