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The sound of raised voices echoed down the hall as Alicia approached her manager’s office.

Alicia cringed, realizing her coworkers must be arguing again. She thought about how frequent conflict in the workplace was threatening morale and productivity.

“If only there was an easy way to manage conflict,” Alicia muttered.

She considered how much better her relationships outside of work had become after learning practical conflict resolution steps.

The 7-step approach she discovered not only reconciled relationships but honored God in the process.

Alicia decided that when her manager was free later that day, she would share what she learned about resolving conflicts effectively.

Mastering these relationship-saving steps could be the key to improving her team’s collaboration and restoring peace in the office.

Then, finally, there would be the hope of recognizing that conflict is inevitable but that through Godly wisdom and grace, it can lead to growth rather than destruction.

Step 1: Make the First Move Toward Reconciliation

Make The First Move Toward Reconciliation

When conflict arises, our natural instinct is often to withdraw, avoid it, or wait for the other person to come to us.

However, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

This means taking the initiative to restore peace and reconciliation in strained relationships.

Don’t wait for the other person to make the first move. Go to them in humility and seek to make amends.

“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Matthew 5:24 (NIV)

Bring up the issue tactfully and be willing to take the first step to reconcile.

This requires humility and courage. Admit where you may have been wrong, even if it’s just in how you responded.

Be quick to listen and slow to speak:

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

James 1:19 (NIV)

Making the first move speaks volumes and can begin opening doors to resolving the conflict.

Step 2: Pray for Wisdom on the Right Words and Approach

Praying for Wisdom

Once you decide to reconcile, don’t rely on your instincts on what to say or how to approach resolving the conflict.

Instead, begin with prayer and seek God’s wisdom on the situation.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5 (NIV)

Ask Him for the right words, tone, and attitude that will draw you together rather than further apart.

Pray for sensitivity to the other person’s feelings and perspective. Ask God to reveal any blind spots or faults in yourself first, before you address issues in the other person.

Pray for a spirit of humility, grace, and patience.

Prayer will make you more aware of your imperfections and help you approach the conflict from a desire for restoration rather than proving yourself right. It will soften your heart towards the other person.

Step 3: Examine Your Own Fault First

Expressing Genuine Remorse

When hashing out disagreements, our instinct is often to come in “guns blazing” – pointing out the other person’s faults while vigorously defending our innocence.

However, Jesus taught that you should first take the log out of your eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

Look inward first and take ownership of your faults, flaws, imperfect responses, and mistakes. This will remove pride and help approach the situation more humbly.

Even if the other person’s offense seems much greater, find something you can take ownership of, even if it’s just your reaction.

Starting with your faults communicates that you don’t see yourself as blameless or perfect. This makes the other person more open to hearing where they may be at fault.

Step 4: Listen to Understand Their Perspective and Hurt

Listen to Understand Their Perspective and Hurt

In any conflict, behind the outward disagreement lies hurt feelings and differing perspectives. That’s what needs to be unpacked and understood for a healthy resolution.

Rather than focus only on communicating your perspective, make the other person feel truly heard and validated.

James 1:19 reminds us to be “quick to listen” and slow to speak. Listen not just to their words, but to the hurt feelings and needs fueling their perspective.

Summarize what you hear to show you understand. This builds trust and willingness to also listen to your viewpoint.

Seek to understand rather than just be understood. Approach this time with openness rather than just waiting to speak your side.

Step 5: Speak the Truth Tactfully and Sensitively

Speak Tthe Truth Tactfully And Sensitively

Speaking the truth is important for working through issues, but it must be done with thoughtfulness and care for the other person’s feelings.

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) says we should speak the truth in love.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Avoid blasting someone with blunt “truth bombs” that can feel insensitive or hurtful, even if factually accurate.

Share your perspective, needs, and concerns gently, thoughtfully, and respectfully. Time your words carefully to minimize defensiveness.

Speak more in terms of how you feel rather than accusing. “I feel frustrated when this happens” rather than “You always do this!”

Where possible, use “I” statements rather than “you” statements to avoid putting them on the defensive. Season truth with grace.

Step 6: Work Together to Fix the Problem

Work Together to Fix the Problem

With perspectives out in the open, now you can work together (rather than against each other) to address the root issues constructively.

Collaborate to find solutions rather than attacking each other’s character and faults.

Brainstorm solutions that take both parties’ needs into account. Look for win-win compromises where each gives a little.

Identify steps for avoiding similar conflicts going forward.

Focus on attacking the problem, not each other. Remember you’re on the same team working toward resolution.

If blaming starts, gently redirect the focus to brainstorming solutions together.

Step 7: Focus on Restoring the Relationship

Focus on Restoring the Relationship

Finally, define success not as resolving every disagreement, but the reconciling and restoration of the relationship itself. Reconciliation before full resolution if needed.

Sometimes two people can reconcile a strained relationship even while disagreeing on certain issues. They’ve built enough trust to have grace for each other’s viewpoints.

Make restoring the love and connection your highest priority. Agree to disagree agreeably on less central issues.

Let healing the relationship be the win rather than winning the argument.

Key Takeaways on Resolving Conflict

  • Be quick to seek reconciliation; don’t wait for the other person.
  • Pray for wisdom before initiating reconciliation.
  • Examine your own faults first before pointing out issues in others.
  • Listen closely to understand the other person’s perspective and hurt feelings.
  • Speak the truth gently, not bluntly. Season with grace.
  • Collaborate to fix problems, not attack each other.
  • Focus on restoring the relationship more than resolving every disagreement.

In Summary

Learning to resolve conflict well is a key relationship skill that honors God and strengthens bonds with others. While challenging, the rewards of reconciliation are well worth the effort. By applying these 7 biblical steps, you can become an expert in restoring peace, connection, and intimacy in the relationships that matter most.

Frequently Asked Questions on Resolving Conflict

Q. What are some effective strategies to resolve conflict?

A. Some key strategies include: making the first move, examining your own faults first, listening deeply to their perspective, finding compromises that address both people’s needs, speaking sensitively, and restoring the relationship first.

Q. What interpersonal skills help resolve conflict?

A. Important skills include humility, taking personal responsibility, the ability to listen without interrupting, validating others’ perspectives, compromising, focusing on solutions rather than blame, and extending grace.

Q. How do you define resolving conflict?

A. Resolving conflict involves addressing the root issues constructively to reconcile strained relationships and establish peace/harmony again. It’s fixing problems together.

Q. Why is resolving conflict important?

A. Resolving conflict is critical for maintaining healthy, strong relationships over the long term. Unresolved conflict destroys relationships through resentment and isolation.

Q. How can couples resolve conflict in marriage?

A. Couples should humble themselves, listen to each other’s hurt, examine their own faults, speak sensitively, compromise, attack problems not each other, and focus on restoring intimacy. Counseling can also help.

Q. What does the Bible say about resolving conflict?

A. Bible verses about resolving conflict encourage being peacemakers, seeking reconciliation, humility, patience, finding compromises, and restoring relationships. Speaking truth in love is also emphasized.

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