Summary: Steps to Resolving Conflicts

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Resolving Conflicts is a Matter of Perspective, Attitude and Replacing evil With the Good of God’s Acceptance. Rom. 15:7

Illustration:In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to play a routine baseball game. But what happened that day was anything but routine. The Orioles’ John McGraw got into a fight with the Boston third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl. The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. Among the fans the conflict went from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. Not only that, but the fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well.

Daily Bread, August 13, 1992.

Many people find themselves stuck in ruts unable to find a way out of their conflicts. Millions in America suffer from depression because they are unable to properly channel their feelings of anger, resentment and frustration. Unconsciously, people take out their exasperation on others. Men and women feel that this ventilation provides them with temporary relief from their raging emotions. Unless one is willing to deal with conflicts, needed changes may never be made and suffering continues. Furthermore, unless we are open to constructive criticism it is unlikely that any improvements will be made.

Conflicts with people who have a different perspective from our own forces us to re-evaluate the soundness of our own position. When we encounter an opposing viewpoint it helps us to consider new ways of approaching a whole range of issues. Crises have a way of helping us mature emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Ross Stagner has said, "I am sure we can begin by agreeing that every major advance in civilization has resulted from some type of conflict." Conflicts have a way of cleansing us from worn-out ideas and methods. Different struggles may also help renew our motivation and give us a fresh perspective about our organization. Disagreements also have a way of allowing for healthy ventilation of feelings that gives people a chance to air their grievances. Failure to let some steam off occasionally can lead some people into depression, anxiety attacks or vices that are far more self-destructive. In order to facilitate the resolution of conflicts with the religious right and reduce our own stress, let us take a look at some of the following strategies for successfully resolving these conflicts:

1. Realize that if you really care, you are bound to face conflicts. Only the apathetic are immune from conflicts since they do not care what happens as long as the problems do not affect them personally. Having conflicts is a normal part of growth both for individuals and organizations.

2. Honestly appreciate how each conflict helps us reveal some of our own limited understanding. Failure to honestly acknowledge our own incomplete knowledge of a situation can only place blame where it does not belong. Nothing will irritate people more than a " holier than thou" disposition that tries to look down on people for their alleged shortcomings. Seldom, do people have pure motives. We all have a long way to go before we can say we are perfect. We all commit sins of commission, omission, disposition and pre-disposition.

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