Monday, February 16, 2009

That Pesky Nuisance


Conflict.

I know that it makes us better people. Stories would be really boring without it. It's the spice in our lives that makes us appreciate all things good.

Personally, I hate it. I hate it in all its many forms and types.

However, I do not avoid it. I never ignore it and happily hope that it will just go away. I am very bad at the dancing around the elephant in the room.

I hate dealing with conflict because it just takes so much brain work. I can break down for you the way I do it:

1. I get mad as all get out and think of all the ways I'm going to just tell off the person with whom I've having the conflict.

2. I realise that this isn't at all what Jesus would do, so I rethink the whole thing and decide to just let it go.

3. I rethink it again and come to the conclusion that Jesus wouldn't just ignore it, He'd address it. As only God could.

4. I go back to the ways I was going to tell the person off and then see if there's some way I can rephrase it all in a loving, kind, Godly way.

5. I give up and go back to the ignoring it all option.

6. See #4.

7. See #5.

The thing about conflict is that it's like we're all rocks in a tumbler and God is turning the wheel. Sometimes we get polished, and the rough edges come off. Sometimes sharper edges form. The trick is to get yourself polished up and outta the danged tumbler until the next time something comes up. Cause let's face it -- it is no picnic in the tumbler. It hurts and it's hard.

Currently I'm having a conflict with a difficult person. She's a control freak and wants to reprimand my kids. This upsets me greatly, but I'm not sure yet how to address it. I think I'll chew on it (pray about it) a LOT more before I say anything. Ah, speaking the truth in love, the challenge of every Prophet (also known as Compulsive Truth Speaker with Little or No Tact).

Last week, I responded to a neighbor kid that had left a used athletic cup in our mailbox on Superbowl Sunday. I took a shoebox, filled it with 6 or 7 old bras that don't fit anyone around here, and put a note inside thanking him for his kind gift and telling him I thought we'd return the favour.

Although Hunk O Man insists that I'm in the process of starting a Neighbor War, I don't think so. I think both things were funny and everybody just needs to calm down. A simple prank doesn't have to turn into a major conflict. Sometimes conflict can be turned into something funny and that lightens everyone up. Case in point.

My husband's family didn't show any conflict at all. I fear this is a great disservice his parents did him. Of course, my family was all yelling and conflict central, and that's not the right way either! I think there is a happy balance, when children can see that parents disagree and the parents can be civil, and even better, can kiss and make up (and make out, as Hunk O Man always says).

Romans 12:18: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

We all know, if we're honest, that this means keeping our thoughts in check as well as our actions and words. Because if it's in my head or heart, it's likely eventually gonna come out of my mouth.

Ephesians 5:21: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Sometimes I do have to just let it go. But I'm hopeful God will continue to give me the words I need to resolve every conflict I face. I want out of that tumbler and fast.

And you know, if you think of it as the tide turning the rocks into sand and polishing sea glass, at least there's a beach . . .


xoxox

4 Comments:

Thankful Paul said...

Hello! :)

Debbie said...

The bra joke is too funny! How did they respond?
And conflict is so horrible. That's why I just sit here and blog!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

"And you know, if you think of it as the tide turning the rocks into sand and polishing sea glass, at least there's a beach . . ."

that certainly helps!! : )

Thanks for the very timely post. . .how did you know I was dealing with this??

Tessa said...

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Ruth

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