5 Things To Remember When Conversations Turn Into Conflict
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
When I find myself in a conflict, I want to find the right words to help get to the other side. But that isn’t always possible.
While talking is good, sometimes the conversation starts running in a circle, and there aren’t any productive words left to say. When this happens, it can make a girl feel like giving up. But rather than give up, I’ve learned that spending time getting quiet before the Lord can really be the best remedy for tangled situations.
Taking a step back from all the emotion, frustration and exhaustion to sit quietly with Jesus will do more to untangle a mess than anything else I’ve ever found.
Do you ever feel like relationships are hard to navigate? Maybe today you find yourself trying to figure out a situation that’s complicated, messy and unpredictable. If so, here are five beautiful things I’ve found when I stop trying to fix it all and instead get quiet with God:
1. We can feel safe enough to humble ourselves.
In the heat of a mess, the last thing I want to do is get humble. I want to overexplain and prove my point. But I’m learning I have to step out of the battle and humbly ask God to speak truth to my heart for things to start to make sense. Never have I had a relationship issue where I didn’t contribute at least something to the problem. Usually, I can only see this something in the quiet.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand …” (1 Peter 5:6)
2. God will lift us up to a more rational place.
When we are in the heat of a tangled relationship, our emotions can drag us down into a pit of hopelessness. The only way out of the pit is to make the choice to stop digging deeper and turn to God for a solution.
“ … that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)
3. Anxiety gives way to progress.
We can pour out our anxious hearts to Jesus, who loves us right where we are, how we are. And because of His love, we can feel safe enough to admit humbly that we need Jesus to work on us. Trying to fix another person will only add to our anxiety. Letting Jesus work on us is where real progress can happen.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV)
4. We see our real enemy isn’t the person with whom we’re in conflict.
The truth is, we have an enemy, and it’s not each other. Satan’s influence on me and the person offending me is the real culprit. I can’t realize this in the heat of the moment. But in the quiet, I become alert and can gain a strategy for acting and reacting in a more self-controlled manner.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith …” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV)
5. We can rest assured God will use this conflict for good — no matter how it turns out.
If I make the effort to handle this conflict well, I can be freed from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy. Sometimes relationships grow stronger through conflict. But other times, relationships end because of conflict. Because I can’t control the other person, I must keep focusing on the good God is working out in me through this and leave the outcome with Him.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11, NIV)
In the end, this struggle can be used by God to make me stronger and more capable in my relationships. If I am humble enough to receive from Him in the quiet what He wants to teach me through this, I can rest assured with whatever the outcome is.
Dear Lord, help me stop trying to figure out this situation and just sit in the quiet with You for a while. God, humble me. Show me Your steps toward restoration. Or show me Your steps toward a healthy parting. Take my anxiety and replace it with Your peace, wisdom and security. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
We can love people … but we can’t change them. While we can’t control their behavior, we can draw godly boundaries that will actually lead to progress for the relationship. To overcome the frustrating cycle of ineffective boundary-setting by applying practical strategies to help you communicate, keep and implement healthier patterns, download Lysa’s free resource “I Can’t Keep Doing This: 5 Reasons Your Boundaries Aren’t Working” for free here.
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
1 Peter 5:5b, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (NIV)
If you find yourself tangled up in a conflict with someone, try writing out a prayer for this person. Sometimes praying for someone who frustrates us softens our hearts and lets us see new possibilities for God’s redemption to take place (and maybe even possibilities for restoration to occur with this person).
Feel free to share your prayers or thoughts with us in the comments!
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