dealing with conflict {lessons I've learned}

I've been quiet around here lately and here is why: I've been dealing with a large conflict for the last six or seven months.  It's been quite a mammoth undertaking and my heart is literally broken over it.  My people are hurting, I'm hurting.  The ache in my chest is SO deep that all I can do with it on a daily basis is hand it to Him and pray He uses it for good.  {hint: HE IS}.     

As with any of my life experiences, I am hopeful that by sharing my heart, it will help someone else walk through the same things, maybe even a little better than I have.  {my favorite part of this "job" of mine is hearing from YOU and all the ways God has allowed me to share a bit of this walk with you!}  These lessons can help us all walk through any kind of conflict with grace and love for one another. 

Here are some lessons I will carry with me forever thanks to this experience and they kind of all work together: 

~Keep your mouth quiet, whenever possible.  Hurt people talk a lot.  Be a listener whenever you can.  Sometimes people just need to get it out to encourage healing.  It's amazing the healing power of being listened to.  A split or conflict causes pain all around, compassionately tend to all who are hurt.

Proverbs 17:27-28
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.  Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent and discerning if they hold their tongues.


~Flee from negativity.  I have learned the hard way that negative speak will drown out the voice of the Father faster than anything else.  Negativity cocoons us like a web.  Hurt people can be very negative, it's often an instinctual reaction.  Do what you can to steer people away from this path.  Encourage others to seek the best in everyone.  Remind them about the style of talk Jesus participated in and BE an example of such talk.  {and remind yourself if need be!}.  

Proverbs 17:14
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. 


~Seek Him out!  His voice is the one that matters.  You may need to fight for this because the enemy loves chaos and a split is the perfect soil for chaos to grow.  Dig into the word even more than you ever have.  Remember that God can use all things for His purposes and with that knowledge, move forward with JOY that He sees all and is already orchestrating good.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Don't choose sides, choose Jesus, choose His people.  In the midst of conflict, it's hard not to choose sides.  We want to know who is RIGHT or WRONG.  Often there are no clear lines (sometimes there are) but at the end of the day, it's not as important as walking out in LOVE towards one another.  You will never regret love, you will often regret choosing a side.  We are all children of God, part of the same family.     

1 Corinthians 1:10 
My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don’t take sides. Always try to agree in what you think.     


Go after the stray sheep.  Church issues will cause people to leave church forever because they are faced with the reminder that churches are full of people and people are not perfect.  Do what you can to go after them, perhaps your seeking them out will remind them of the true Church (with a capital C) and will help them heal and return to church sooner than later.   Be the Church when the church is having trouble.

Matthew 18:12 
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?


We are all sinners.  Go forward in that knowledge with GRACE and love.  We all suck as people sometimes.  Seriously.  We cannot shake a finger at anyone because we fail ALL THE TIME.  If He does not hold our sins against us, how can we hold them against one another?      

Romans 3:23  
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  


When in doubt, choose love.  Feeling bogged down by the conflict?  Can't think straight?  Do the next loving thing you can think of and then the next and then the next and then the next and slowly but surely that will turn into a rope that will pull you out. Love wins every time.  

Mark 12:31 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.  


I'm sure there is more to come in time, as I continue to walk this out but for now this is all I feel He would have me share.  My prayer is that it will bless you in some way that you need.  He knows the deep aches of our hearts and is faithful to tend to them.  Run to Him and see.  


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