3 Ways Unresolved Conflict Steals Your Joy
One of the most important skills we have to learn is how to resolve conflict. It is essential to our happiness. You can be wealthy, you can be attractive, you can be successful, you can be talented, but if your relationships are in turmoil, you’re a mess.
God recognizes that we’re going to have conflict in our lives, because the world is broken.
Romans 12:17-18 (NIV) “Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone [In other words, people push your buttons; don’t push their buttons back. People attack you; you don’t attack back.] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
I am so glad that God didn’t leave out the first two parts and just say, Live at peace with everyone. God gives you two caveats. He says “If it is possible… as far as it depends on you.” What is God saying here? God says, “I recognize that some people you can’t live at peace with.” They’re called crazymakers! And really, it’s not your fault. No matter how you try to appease, please, control, support, whatever… they are just a well that cannot be filled up. Their emotional needs are so great, no matter what you do you can’t please them.
Ever met anybody like that? People who, no matter what you do they are just unpleasable. Even God recognizes that some people you just can’t live at peace with.
As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Why does God want us to live at peace with everyone? Because unresolved conflict has three devastating reactions in your life. Damaging results.
The damage that unresolved conflict does is three things:
1. It blocks my fellowship with God.
When I’m at odds with you, I can’t be in harmony with God. When I’m distracted, when I’m in conflict with other people, I cannot have a clear connection with God. Did you know that? The Bible says this over and over and over.
1 John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar.”
You cannot be in harmony with God and out of harmony with the people in your life.
2. It hinders my prayers.
It prevents answered prayers. Did you know that? Over and over again in the Scripture the Bible says that when I have conflict and when there’s sin and when there’s disharmony in my life it blocks my prayers. It hinders my prayers.
3. It hinders my happiness.
You cannot be happy and in conflict at the same time. When conflict comes in the front door, happiness goes out the back door in your life.
God wants you to do your part. Be a peacemaker. Yes, it is impossible to avoid conflict with every single person in every single situation, but you can always do your part in peacemaking. That’s where you start.