Have you had a fight with someone you love this week? Unfortunately, most of us have. It is amazing how we can experience so much joy and so much frustration from one relationship! We can enjoy the fellowship and love and cooperation. But relationships are also difficult. We often do not agree. We hurt or are hurt by others. We act wrongly and this affects those around us.
What should we do when we are hurt or believe those around us are doing the wrong thing? God tells us how to handle it in the Bible. When we follow his ways, we will be able to faithfully love and uphold truth and righteousness.
Here are nine steps you can take (and retake) when you face these difficulties in your relationships.
1. Give space
When Dana and I were first married, I asked my older brother Michael to give me marriage advice. He said, “One of the most important lessons I have learned in marriage is that I am not my wife’s Holy Spirit (and she isn’t mine).”
We like to try to fix those around us. But that is not really our job. In fact, by trying to fix others, we can become an obstacle to their learning process. When I think someone is wrong, I am not going to try to take God’s place in his or her life.
There is another reason we should not dive right into a “discussion” when we disagree. Some of us tend to speak before we think. Anger and frustration make this even worse. James advises, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
So, the first thing I am going to do when I think someone else is wrong about something is nothing. With humility and patience, I am going to give the other person space to make mistakes and learn from them.
“But I can’t do nothing! This is too important!” Don’t forget, this is only the first step.
Next part: Steps 2 & 3: 9 Steps for Conflict Resolution