Sept. 10, 2009
Responding to Conflict
When conflict occurs, people often look for someone to criticize. I remember being severely chastised while in a meeting at another organization. Because of God's enabling, I was able to remain calm and react in a godly manner.
Turning to the Lord in prayer is always the best way to respond in a crisis. As we do, we can ask for Him to provide:
• Spiritual discernment. God understands perfectly the source of the problem, and He can enable us to comprehend it too. Perhaps there has been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person's part, or a mistake on ours. With the Spirit's assistance, we will gain insight into the situation.
• A quiet spirit. Our human nature will want to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves. Before we act, we must deliberately focus our attention on God and experience the inner peace that He promises (John 14:27).
• Wisdom. The Lord told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities (Luke 12:11-12). He will do the same for you. If tempted to speak hastily, ask the Spirit to put a seal on your lips until God gives you the words to say and tells you it's time to respond (Ps. 141:3).
We do not have to react to criticism with anger and self-protectiveness, as the world does. God has called us to represent Him in every situation the same way Christ did—through dependence on the heavenly Father. Next time someone speaks critically to you, how will you respond?
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.