Summary: Do you want to experience little or no conflict in your relationships? Look at part 3 of this series.
Qualities for low conflict Christians (Part III)
Relationships are very important! (Repeat as much as you feel is necessary)
It is one of the desires of my heart to be in relationships that have very little or no conflict in them. Do you think this is a “do-able” situation? Is it really possible to have low conflict relationships when you think about all of the different personality types in our world, our nation, our state, our city, our church? Are there graces or gifts available to us to help us have relationships with very little conflict? Yes there are! They are…Humor, Humility, Empathy, Optimism, Flexibility, Self Control, Transparency.
These graces have helped many leaders and Christians across the centuries to experience low conflict relationships. This morning we will introduce four more graces that will equip us for the job of having relationships that are affirming and rewarding instead of disturbing and problematic.
How to turn a disagreement into a fight:
1. Be sure to develop and maintain a insatiable fear of conflict, letting your own feelings build up so you are in an explosive frame of mind quite frequently.
2. If you must state your concerns, be as vague and general as possible. Then the other person cannot do anything practical to change the situation.
3. Assume you know all the facts and you are totally right. The use of a clinching Bible verse is helpful. Speak prophetically for truth and justice; do all of the talking.
4. With a touch of defiance, announce your willingness to talk with anyone who wishes to discuss the problem with you.
5. Latch tenaciously onto whatever evidence you can find that shows the other person is merely jealous of you.
6. Judge the motivation of the other party on any previous experience that showed failure or unkindness. Keep track of any glaring faults of the opposing party.
7. Pass the buck! If you are about to get cornered into a solution, indicate you are without power to settle; you need your partner, spouse, bank, lawyer, pastor…whatever.
Ron Kraybill, Tell it to the Church, Lynn Buzzard, David C. Cook, 1982, p. 23.
1. The Grace of Communication
Webster’s dictionary says to communicate is…to talk, to impart information, convey information, advise clearly. As Christians, we of all people should communicate clearly in all things. Clearly understood communication is key-central to developing relationships without conflict.
Let’s look at a few verses where the writers of the Bible communicated clearly concerning what it was that God had asked them to write. Let’s go to the book of Ephesians. There are several good topics of discussion found in Ephesians.
a. Ephesians 1:7 READ
Paul is saying a whole lot here. He is saying that because of Christ we have redemption. He is saying because of the shed blood of Christ we have forgiveness of sin. He is saying Jesus was willing to shed His blood for our sin and this was all done according to the riches of His grace.
So, for Paul, here in verse seven communicates clearly what it is that Christ has done for us! We have redemption…we were bought with a price and the price was paid with the blood. Because of the shed blood we have forgiveness of sin. This was all accomplished because of grace!
As Christians, when we communicate we ought to be just as clear and easily understood as chapter 1:7 of Ephesians. There is a such thing as good timing. Timing is important. But more important than good timing is to be clearly understood when you communicate. Do you want to have relationships that have little or no conflict? Communicate clearly!
It is interesting that it takes Paul three verses to tell the wives to submit to the husbands but it takes him 9 verses to tell the husbands to love the wives. It is clear however, in these three verses that the wife is to be in submission to the husband, not because the husband is superior, but because he has a different role to fill. This role is exemplified in the comparison that is seen between Christ and the church. Paul clearly communicates.
Paul says here, “husbands love your wives.” Just as Christ loved the church (don’t stop reading here husbands) and gave Himself for her.” Do you know how much Christ gave Himself to the church? He gave His life! He loved the church not because of her beauty or her holiness but because He wanted to make her beautiful and holy!
Now I don’t want to leave out the children. This is another very clear bit of conversation by the apostle Paul. Children obey your parents…this is right
We have looked at three areas of communication that Paul was clear about. What are you communicating? Is it clearly understood? Do you have the grace of communication? Do you just go around mumbling under your breath or do you communicate clearly? It is a grace!