Resolving Conflict: Establish Rules Of Engagement

conflictIf handled wrong, conflict can leave your life looking like a war zone, devastated, desolate and destroyed. If handle correctly conflict can be the catalyst for healthy growing relationships. In this week’s Life Palette blog post we have been pressing into how to successfully deal with conflict – like it or not – you are going to have to deal with conflict resolution. In fact, to fully realize your God-given potential as a masterpiece, you need to be great at conflict resolution. This is something you can learn to do and continue to get better at doing.

Establish Rules Of Engagement

Even countries who go to war establish rules of engagement, setting humanitarian boundaries for how they will and will not fight. Only terrorist fight without boundaries and if you deal with conflict in your relationships without rules of engagement you will have the same results emotionally.

Take a close look at this verse, it shows the ground rules that God wants in our lives and relationships. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” (Ephesians 4:31 NLT) At one time or another, we all struggle with this so let’s look at some practical rules of engagement that you can agree to as you work to resolve conflict.

Be Honest

Without complete honesty, you will never be able to resolve conflict. Don’t attack the way they do when what you really are upset about is the lack of attention.

Be Kind

Say what you mean in the most honest and loving way possible. Make sure you are attacking the problem and not the person.

Never say “never”

We tend to think this strengthens our side of the argument, but it doesn’t. They are just going to think about “well there was that one time 2 years ago.” Then you begin arguing about what happened 2 years ago.

Stay Calm

If you let things get too heated you will often make the conflict about something that it’s not. Don’t be like Lucy from the Peanuts: “if I can’t be right, I’m going to be wrong at the top of my lungs.”Perhaps you’ve read the Chinese Proverb that says: “If you throw mud, you lose ground.”

Talk To God About It

Unfortunately prayer is often a last resort rather than a first response. Make it a habit to talk to God first when you have a conflict. You should always talk to God about someone before you go and talk to him or her. You may discover that this solves the problem; it may be a need that He will intervene and meet in your life. In yesterday’s blog, we looked at how un-met expectations are one of the root causes of our conflicts. You may discover through prayer that you want someone in your life to meet a need that only God can meet. Talking to God about the conflicts you are facing will help you to discover this.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5 NLT)

These rules of engagement will go a long way in assuring you resolve conflict in a healthy way. As you put them in to practice you will begin to lay down the weapons, take off your mask, get rid of all your legalities, and resolve conflict. Make these rules of engagement a part of your Life Palette to assure you live your life as the masterpiece God created you to be.