Have you ever been in a conflict with someone in which there seems to be no resolution whatsoever? (I think I know everybody’s answer. Conflict is inevitable while on this earth!) So what does one do in the midst of a mess that just keeps getting messier? Sometimes, if possible, the best resolution is just to agree-to-disagree, shake hands peaceably, and walk away from the matter altogether.
But there are other times when in conflict, we tend to get so caught up in the matter, that we can’t see straight; we begin to look at things sideways. The argument becomes more about my-side-against-their-side, than the issue itself. And then somewhere in there, God’s voice of wisdom gets pushed out altogher. This is when we need to stop, take a meditative breath, and remember that God will always have a different perspective than we humans do. The Wise Counselor sees from above, not just one side; He looks down and sees both angles; He knows the thoughts and intentions of both hearts. He holds the answer; He is Peace.
The contrast between humans trying to resolve matters with or without God’s perspective is clearly mentioned in His word:
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:16-17)
So, the questions to ask in the midst of a relational conflict are these:
Does jealousy or selfish ambition contribute to my unsettled heart?
Are my motives pure?
Do I want peace at the end of this conflict?
Am I being gentle, reasonable, full of mercy?
Does the way I am behaving bear good fruits, and line up with my unwavering biblical convictions, or am I being a hypocrite?
These are hard questions, but when they’re answered honestly between two parties in conflict, then resolution is more likely to happen. I am so thankful I have a Wise Counselor that can help me see more than sideways. I pray that I will always remember to invite Him into my conflicts. I want His perspective; I want His peace.