Responding to Conflict


Next time someone speaks critically to you, how will you respond?

Proverbs 15:18

When conflict occurs, people often look for someone to criticize. Though it happened long ago, I still remember being severely chastised during a meeting at an organization. Because of God’s enabling, I was able to react in a godly manner. Turning to the Lord in prayer is always the best way to respond in a crisis.

As we do, we can ask for Him to provide...

Spiritual discernment. God knows and understands perfectly the source of the problem, and He can enable us to comprehend it, too. Perhaps there has been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person’s part, or a mistake on ours. With the Spirit’s assistance, we will gain insight.

A quiet spirit. Our human nature will want to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves or stand up for what we think is right. Before we act, we must deliberately focus our attention on God and experience the inner peace that He promises (John 14:27).

Wisdom. The Lord told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities (Luke 12:11-12). He will do the same for us. If tempted to speak hastily, we should ask the Spirit to put a seal on our lips until God reveals it’s time to respond and gives us the words to say (Ps. 141:3).

We do not have to react to criticism with anger and self-protectiveness, as the world does. God has called us to represent Him in every situation the same way Christ did—through dependence on the heavenly Father. Next time someone speaks critically to you, how will you respond?


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