A conflict is not going to resolve itself; you’ve got to intentionally deal with it.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
Why does God want us to live at peace with everyone? Because unresolved conflict has three devastating effects in your life.
First, it blocks your fellowship with God. When you’re out of whack with others, you can’t be in harmony with God. When you’re distracted, when you’re in conflict with other people, you cannot have a clear connection with God. 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar” (NLT).
Second, unresolved conflict hinders your prayers. Over and over again the Bible says that where there is conflict and sin and disharmony in your life, your prayers are blocked.
Third, unsolved conflict hinders your happiness. You cannot be happy and in conflict at the same time. When conflict comes in the front door, happiness goes out the back.
So, don’t you want to get rid of the conflict in your life? The starting point of resolving any conflict is to take the initiative. Don’t wait for others to come to you; go to them. You be the peacemaker.
Don’t ignore the conflict. Don’t deny the conflict. Don’t push the conflict under the carpet.
Have you heard the expression, “Time heals everything?” That’s a bunch of bologna. Time heals nothing! If time heals everything, you wouldn’t ever need to see the doctor.
Actually, time makes things worse. When you’ve got an open wound and you don’t deal with it, it festers. Anger turns to resentment, and resentment turns to bitterness.
The conflict is not going to resolve itself. You’ve got to intentionally deal with it.
Only courageous people resolve conflict. Maybe the most courageous thing you can do is face an issue that you’ve been ignoring for a long time in your marriage, or with your kids, or with your employees, or your boss, or whoever.
Where do you find the courage to face it? You get it from God.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” That means if you let God’s Spirit fill your life, you're going to be filled with power, love, and self-discipline. And God’s love overcomes fear.
When your love is greater than your fear, you’ll do things you’re afraid to do. That’s called courage. When you’re filled with God’s love, you’ll also be filled with love for that person who is irritating you or that person you’re in conflict with.
Talk It Over
- Is there a problem in one or more of your relationships that you are pretending does not exist? Money? Trust? In-laws? Family? Children? Communication? Values? Work schedule?
- What will you do today to take the initiative to resolve those conflicts?
- What does it mean to let God’s Spirit fill your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.