Before salvation, my solution to any conflict was to keep malice. Down to when my name changed and I became God’s daughter, my approach was to remain quiet and keep brooding over it and but you can be sure that my melancholic temperament still expressed itself giving off silent treatment towards the offender until there was a shift and the Holy Spirit started taking me through classes, for which I’m still grateful.
It’s an indispensable quality every individual and professional must have to efficiently carry out duties.
At my workplace, I see patients suffer because of conflict between the nurse and a doctor. Just because a doctor was rude and didn’t know how to resolve a matter, the nurse decides not to write a patient’s prescription and boldly says: “It’s not my job” all because there’s friction which hasn’t been resolved.
It was in 2018 when I had the first note about conflict resolution. I was shocked when someone had hurriedly gone to her WhatsApp status to vent saying, “I’m not your age mate.” She made this post in response to a conflict she instigated.
This made me pause to ponder how that reaction would have resolved the disagreement.
While trying to work on this, different conflict situations I’ve had played in my mind, and at some point, I was smiling.
Through experience and how God’s word has worked in me, I’ve been able to come to these thoughts which present guidelines for settling conflicts.
1)There is no conflict resolution in Heaven: Needless to argue that there are times you feel the other party should be the one to apologize and you’re so heady, but somehow I’m reminded, “…what if it happens now?” As a heaven-minded Christian, I know I’m a pilgrim here and so if the rapture happens, unforgiveness won’t make me rapture-ready. And God is never going to say
“Hey Gloria come here with the lady you had a rift with let me quickly settle it, so you guys can at least get a pass to Heaven…” No No! Now is the time to settle!
2)Man is as vapour: Isn’t it scary that the day you quarrel with someone could be the last you’d hear about him or her. And yes it could be the last for you too! I mean it is what it is! Man is here today and gone tomorrow, hence the reason why it’s good to be prompt to settle any disagreement. Just how would you make things right then? The pain, I bet you’d never forgive yourself.
3) Conflicts are inevitable: Just because we think differently, are raised differently, and have different temperaments make frictions inevitable. There was a time I used to beat myself so hard that as a Christian I shouldn’t be in conflict with anyone but that is half truth! Reality is, General Overseers have conflicts, Doctors do, and other professionals out there I mean…so do not beat yourself so hard, rather seek a headway and how to resolve conflicts rightly.
4) Conflict resolution shouldn’t be age or status dependent: Sometimes do we have Bosses who will refuse to apologize even after coming to the fact that they were the wrong one.
Same with Pastors who feel they are too big to apologize to their subordinates. How about African parents…? Conflict resolution should never be about these factors but about making things right. I personally get humbled when people who are higher resolve conflicts appropriately, it breaks me and that is one thing I’ve also learnt to do.
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5) You put yourself at risk: Hey, when you resort to unforgiveness, malice and wrong approaches to conflict resolution, you put yourself at health risk. You’re the one frowning while the other person is smiling, you’re the captive while the other is free. Conflict resolution the right way is peace.
6)An avenue to grow: Sometimes, conflicts could be a blessing in disguise. Relationships could be strengthened if there’s a right resolution. There are past conflicts I’ve had, and looking through it now, the circumstances surrounding those disputes wouldn’t result in a conflict now because I see and know better. The ability to resolve conflicts rightly also helps in building our emotional quotient and will inevitably sustain social relationships.
7) Some conflicts can be avoided: Oh yes, I’ve come to learn from intuition and foresight that some conflicts can be evaded. Some problems are created by careless speech, insensitive thinking or reasoning, and could be escaped if we learn to respond to the Holy Spirit.
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
God wants us to live wholly and that includes our social lives. I have noted that it costs my ego to be able to manage social relationships.
Are there people crossing your mind you still have unsettled matters with as you read this?
Do you think you’re very bad at managing conflicts no matter how you try?
Do not worry the next blog post will be actively talking about Conflict resolution…the right way.
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BY GLORIA AWOLEHIN
Gloria Awolehin is a Christian writer and blogger, drama minister and a medical doctor. She is currently having her Housemanship at The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. She believes in practical Christian living and she is deeply interested in youths and the female gender.