I was having an email discussion with a very good “friend”, quotation marks because I have never met them, in person! Amazing how technology changes our lives. We were talking about relationships, as they relate to our faith and our belief system. Not sure how that morphed into this thought, but, I realized something about me. There are certain movies that I watch with my hand on the control so that a certain point I stop the show. Why? Because I love happy endings, I have lived through unhappy ones and hate watching a relationship, disintegrate in front of me, just can’t do it. That probably sounds ridiculous to you; just let me by with it! I don’t like conflict!
Romans 12:18 says: Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” King James put it simply; “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man will see the Lord.
Seems easier said than done. People, especially anyone that is pretentious or downright rude, get under my skin about as quick as anything. The art of biting my tongue sometimes needs a little polishing and as I get older I have noticed my “edit” button is defective! I sometimes use conflict avoidance as conflict prevention, but it can make a person think you are agreeing with them when you are not!
In research, I found a team of doctors, Turner and Weed, which had written a paper on it. They divide us ‘avoiders’ into three categories: First there are the Feeling- swallowers” (me) who swallow their feelings. They smile even if the situation is causing them pain and distress. They behave thus because they consider the approval of other people important and feel that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing their true feelings. Second is “Subject-changers” (guilty again) who find the real issue too difficult to handle. They change the topic by finding something on which there can be some agreement with the conflicting party. Third, there are “Avoiders” who go out of their way to avoid conflicts Yes I am guilty on all three counts. I do try to be nice, but if you want to see the Lioness come out, attack my belief, my faith, my God, and you have just seen me come forward in attack mode.
I recently heard the host of a program, I was watching, refer to God, our Creator, as a “higher cosmic power, or whatever or whoever you think it is”. This has to be a person who has never had a personal relationship with God. They may have gone to Sunday School class and heard all the stories, but they never met the author of the Book, if they had they would never be able to simply dismiss Him as a cosmic being. He is my friend and the gift He gave, of eternal life, is one that I would not give up, nor neglect.
Hebrews 2:1-4 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation?First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, and then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit.
So, although I try to “keep the peace” with all men, stay holy, and avoid conflict, I am bold in my faith and I stand up for Jesus, the One Christ, if that means conflict, bring it on! Be Blessed!
2 Replies to “Conflict Avoidance or Keeping the Peace?”
Again great topic. I feel like in reality we all fit under one or all those headings you have listed at one time or another. I think the key to really being ourself is how we handle ourself at that time. Ex: I wake up feeling like a truck has run over me, even my eyelashed hurt. I am trying my best to go on as if it wasn’t happening to me. Somebody walks up & wants to know how I am doing. What is my answer? Usually,unless they are a special friend, the answer is doing okay. Avoiding, lying, & mistrust all come to mind. But so often people just come your way & ask when they don’t really want to know or even care. Foolish conversation for no real reason. I have to really watch myself to avoid being short tongued, sarcastic, blunt, even misplaced giddy at times. Those ways do not present me in the proper manner as I try to live for the Lord. My purpose in life is to so live my life others see Him when they look at me. I am a failure more times than not as a reflecting mirror of His glory & love. It shows too in my prayer life. If I really wanted to be what He wants me to be my wants in my prayers would be for wisdom, knowledge, & discernment. To me these three are the bases for a good Christian walk with the Lord. I don’t do it I am sorry to say. I let my wants for pain relief,, answer to pray for healing, changes in my daily habits or circumstances, financial help all come first. Where did I learn to pray like this? I don’t know but I need to change in order to avoid being someone who I am not..
I have the total answer, at least it works for me…. when I am praying the only prayer I have it “Give me a solution” when He does that sometimes I have to work it out but at least I know how… that is not telling Him what WE want, but saying “It is up to You but I need to know how You intend to bring this about… a solution to the problem”.
Thank you for your comments, I enjoy your ministry here!