recovery in Christ when life is broken

Conflict Resolution and LOVE

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Conflict is a normal part of life. It is an opportunity to honor God, and experience deeper relationships with Him and others. In my life, apart from Christ, pride and fear often made me a conflict avoider—a “peace faker.” As a result of avoiding conflict, resentments towards others burdened me and my relationships were shallow. However, as I began to follow Christ, I saw that the Bible says a lot about resolving conflict.

 

God, the ultimate peacemaker, cares deeply about resolving conflict. God resolved the conflict that sin created between Him and us by sending Christ to pay for sin on our behalf. Then, for those of us willing to reconcile with God, He blessed us with the Holy Spirt to give us supernatural guidance and strength to step into hard conversations.

 

In Step 12, the acronym L-O-V-E highlights some powerful truths to remember when you make efforts to resolve conflict.

Love is the goal:

  • Deal with sin on your side of the relationship before confronting someone’s sin against you. (Matthew 7:5)
  • Overlook minor offenses. However, if someone’s sin is harming his or her relationship with God and others, it is loving to make that person aware. (Ephesians 4:15, Proverbs 19:11)

Only God can open people’s eyes to sin and change hearts. Pray. Seek godly counsel when necessary. Be faithful to your role to carry God’s message of reconciliation, but rely on God for change. (Philippians 2:13)

Voice the truth. Do not dismiss sin, excuse sin, or minimize sin’s damage. Be honest and loving about how you have hurt the other person and how you have been hurt by the other person. (Proverbs 27:5-6)

Be an Example of Christ’s love to others:

  • Extend to others the same kindness and mercy God extended to you. Share God’s hope of reconciliation. Forgive others. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Be willing to establish a new relationship aligned with God’s will if the person repents. Do not dwell on the past, revisit the sin, or gossip about the event. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  • Be willing to change unhealthy relationships. If people are not repentant or willing to address sin, be ready to change your relationship. (Matthew 18:15-17)

 

When we are reconciled with God, then our relationships can be built (even rebuilt) on God’s truth and love. As we reconcile relationships we reflect His character to others as sons and daughters of God and ministers of reconciliation. Admit today where you need to take a step to resolve conflict! Confess it to a faithful friend and have him or her hold you accountable to see the process of reconciliation with the other person through to the end. God is ready with truth and grace to lead and support you as you take that step of faithfulness!

-Liz B.

 

Additional References

How do I know if I’m addicted to porn, alcohol, drugs, pills, sex, relationships, work, gambling, my phone, food, love, shopping, etc.?

 I googled this question on December 22nd, 2005 – and God used it to save my life. Literally.

What could be life-saving about this question? Because, if you don’t know and admit you’re addicted, you won’t get help. Things may even get worse before they get any better. That was my story.

People used to tell me, “I think you might have a drinking problem.” I would quickly snap back, “Are you kidding me? We were drinking together!” They would reason, “Yeah, but it’s different with you.” They were right, but I wasn’t ready to admit it. It was different with me…I drank scotch out of a coffee mug some mornings to hide my drinking. I would sneak drinks before dinners to appear like I was on pace with everyone else, when I was already multiple drinks into the night. I would drink until it was gone or I was gone. I would drink alone, and often preferred to do so, because no one would monitor the volume. Until I was ready to acknowledge my addiction, I wasn’t about to address it or seek to change. Thankfully, after a family intervention in 2005, I googled “How do you know if you’re an alcoholic?” and ended up “acing” the test that popped up from Alcoholics Anonymous.

In that moment, I didn’t feel sad, let down, disappointed, or ashamed…I felt relieved. It was as if I had this nagging, aching pain all of my life and finally a doctor told me I had cancer. There was shock and sadness that things would never be the same, but at least I knew the truth. “This finally makes sense,” I thought. Now, I could start addressing the illness and seek healing.

In reality, most of us don’t seek healing until we admit there is a problem. My hope today is that you’ll better understand your problem so that if you’re hurting…if you’re addicted…you can begin to seek help for healing.

Answer the following twelve questions and then we’ll talk next steps:

  1. Do your family and friends think you have a problem with _______? Yes or No
  2. Do you hide and lie about _____ to protect it and enjoy it although you know others wouldn’t approve? Yes or No
  3. Have you ever missed work or events because of _______? Yes or No
  4. Have you ever tried to stop _______ and find that you can’t go more than a week or two? Yes or No
  5. Has _______ caused relational, financial, marital, occupational, spiritual trouble in your life? Yes or No
  6. Do you find yourself daydreaming and planning your next use of _____? Yes or No
  7. Does _______ make you feel ashamed and yet you continue to do it? Yes or No
  8. Are you afraid that if someone knew the extent of your use of ______ it would be taken away? Yes or No
  9. Is ______ a main priority in your life (when you consider the amount of time/money/thought/energy spent on it)? Yes or No
  10. Is it hard to imagine your life without ________ in it? Yes or No
  11. Are other things in your life (relationships, work productivity, health) are starting to drop-off because _______ is getting more of your time/energy? Yes or No
  12. Do you engage in _______ alone so that no one will trouble you about it and you’d rather do it alone anyway? Yes or No

Now count up how many “YES” responses you gave.

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, our experience tells us that you may be struggling with addiction or close to becoming addicted. And, we often find that if people answer yes to one, they answer yes to many. Addiction creeps into every area of life.

BUT…THERE IS HOPE.

I didn’t know it back then, but alcohol wasn’t my problem…alcohol was my solution. It was my coping mechanism for the pains of life. I used it when I was lonely, tired, bored, angry, stressed…any reason really. It was my default; my go-to.

When I admitted I couldn’t get free on my own, that I was addicted to a poisonous solution, I cried out to God. I asked God to free me and give me a new life. I started walking daily with others who were trying to get free of their addictions. God became the person, the solution, that I went to when I was struggling with life. God responded to my request by flooding my life with peace, joy, purpose and freedom.

You don’t have to go through life addicted. Jesus came to set you free and give you a new life. Not a better or improved life; a new life. And who wouldn’t want that?!

Watch this video on Step 1 “Admit” to learn more about freedom!

-John E.

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recovery in Christ when life is broken.