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We Need To Own Our Part Of The Conflict!

We can be blind to our own contributions to conflicts. One of the first questions we must ask ourselves when we are in a conflict with someone is, "What is it about me that is causing this problem? Have I been too pushy? Have I been unwilling to hear people out? Does my personality have a bit of an edge?" This self-examination prevents jumping to the conclusion that the fault for the conflict rests with someone else. Then, if we are at least partially responsible for the conflict, we can adjust our attitudes. (I can't change someone else, but I can let God change me.) I find when I acknowledge my part in contributing to strife, it often calms the other person's frustration level down. Conflict is not a simple disagreement, it is more like an interaction that involves disappointment or anger. It's possible to disagree without becoming involved in a conflict. Interesting enough, I find that a negative comment, said in anger, can neutralize the effect of a hundred words of acceptance. Anger is intended by God to let us know when we or someone else is being treated unjustly. Its purpose is to motivate us to take godly action, to make right that which is wrong. Many people today are angry about injustice, but they just stay angry and become angrier and angrier. They spend their time getting others angry, and no positive action is taken to correct anything. Jesus is our best example, as He took positive action to correct the situations that made Him angry. In Mark 3:4-5 - The Pharisees were angry that Jesus was healing on the Sabbath. He felt angry; but instead of leaving His God-ordained purpose by beginning to argue with them, he turned and healed the man in front of them. He demonstrated that being good to people is more important than legalistic law keeping. One thing I know for sure is that we do not have the right to expect any single person or group of people to love us or make us happy. Each of us have the right to choose what we say and do. When we truly believe that other people have the right to make their own choices, we don't feel disappointed in them, nor do we get angry when they make a choice with which we disagree. Trusting God instead of ourselves to make others treat us properly breaks the addiction of anger. Without anger and disappointment, there's nothing to fuel a conflict, and it will die from a lack of energy. Psalm 133:1-3, "Where there is peace and unity, there are blessings. [endif]

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