When Relationships Reach a Roadblock (Romans 12:18)
Conflicts! We have all, at some point in life, faced conflicts head on with others. Most people hate it. In a perfect world, we’d all get along; but we live in a fallen world where people are misunderstood, feelings are hurt and agendas are pursued. When our relationships with others reach a roadblock the Holy Spirit constrains us to reconcile the quarrel.
God wants us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We should seek peace with others. However, it’s not always possible. Romans 12:18, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Sometimes you have to deal with difficult people. When conflict arises, pray that God will give you the wisdom to deal with it Biblically. I’ve had to deal with conflict over the years. And while I haven’t been perfect, I’ve learned many valuable lessons about handling disagreements.
Hopefully some of these suggestions can help you in your life:
1. Try not to provoke the other person. Even if you are right and the other person is wrong, do your best to keep your feelings in check.
2. When you are right, use humility and grace.
3. Consider yourself. Don’t allow yourself to say, “I would never have done what this person did.”
4. Apologize. Be the first to seek reconciliation. You’d be surprised at how disarming a genuine “I’m sorry” can be.
5. Sacrifice where necessary, but not your core values. Be willing to give of yourself if it means resolving the conflict.
Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”. The idea is not only of putting up with each other, but indeed forgiving each other. Even as Christ forgave us, we in turn ought to forgive others. In the context of longsuffering, Paul expounds that we “forbear one another and forgive one another.” The idea is not only of putting up with each other, but indeed forgiving each other. More specifically, “if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Forbearing one another speaks of longsuffering. Even as Christ forgave us, we in turn ought to forgive others.
Prayer, Father, I want to have Your heart about reconciliation. You sent Your Son to reconcile me to Yourself, help bring reconciliation to those around me. Thank You for Your Word that gives me wisdom and direction in handling conflict between people I love. Give me Your words and wisdom as I reach out to those that are hurting as You lead. Your principles for handling conflict remind me again of the importance of living out my relationship with You in relation to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.