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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | NOVEMBER 2022 EDITION
“Conflicts are Hard to Handle” Three Strategies for Handling Conflict
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Published November 2022
By Rev Dr Don Moore, Executive Director - Canadian Christian Business Federation


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

CCBF Biblical Leadership Principle for the Month of November 2022

Although conflicts are hard to handle, in and of themselves, they are essentially natural, normal, and neutral! The real issue around conflicts is how you handle them when they come your way.

 

Because each of us is created uniquely and we live in such a complex world, it isn’t surprising that the potential for conflicts is on every side of us. We can expect to face conflicts countless times in our daily life.

 

Conflicts bring with them a tremendous opportunity to grow individually and relationally. So, the sooner we learn strategies for handling conflicts, the more productive the outcomes of conflicts can become.

 

Following the life of Christ in the New Testament, we can identify at least three strategies that he used to handle conflicts. Sometimes, he competed to win the conflict, other times, he simply went calm and quiet and then, at times, he used a care-confronting approach. Let’s take a look at each conflict management strategy.

 

1.            The Strategy of Competition

Christ chose to compete for a win when He found the temple courts being used for sinful purposes. He used force to demonstrate His inability to tolerate such abuse. In other words, He faced the conflict head-on with a competing “win-lose” attitude.

 

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were

buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the

money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called

a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”

Matthew 21:12-13

 

This strategy makes sense if you’re protecting something of high value to you (morals, values, justice, etc.) and you’re not concerned with how your fight will affect those relationships long term.

 

Recall a situation when you used a “win-lose”

approach to handling a conflict.

 

2.            The Strategy of Calmness

A totally opposite approach to conflict was used by Christ when the search was on to find false witnesses against Him that would justify His being put to death by the religious leaders of His day.

Instead of competing in a “win-lose” approach, He chose rather to simply remain calm, quiet and silent. In a sense, he withdrew from a fight and avoided it all together.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence

against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any,

though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two came forward and

declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and

rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus,

Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these

men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.

Matthew 26:59-63

 

Why did Christ choose to withdraw? In part because He knew what would inevitably happen. He had already pleaded with His Father to intervene to no avail! (Matthew 26:39).

 

For us, this strategy makes sense if the outcome is not that important to you or not worth the fight. Or, on the other hand, you may recognize that you don’t have what it takes to bring about a different outcome to this conflict.

 

Recall the dynamics when, faced with a conflict,

you chose to remain calm and silent.

 

3.            The Strategy of Care-Confrontation

Probably the most common strategy used by Christ for dealing with conflict and differences was illustrated in His dealings with the woman at the well. In this situation, and many others, Christ chose to deal with an issue by showing how much he cared for a person or situation while also confronting the core issue.

 

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and

have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband

and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are

right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five

husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.

What you have just said is quite true.”

John 4:15-18

 

Using this care-confronting strategy demonstrates that the issue is very important, so you won’t force it or avoid it. By placing value and care on the relationship, you focus attention on the core issues at stake in this situation.

 

Recall a circumstance where you cared for

a relationship while addressing the core issues.

 

So just as Christ demonstrated in His lifetime, when managing conflict, you need different strategies in your “toolbox.” There are no right or wrong tools rather each is meant for a specific purpose. So, the next time you face a conflict, ask God for wisdom and ask yourself, “Should I compete, remain calm (silent) or care-confront?”



Don Moore
Executive Director Canadian Christian Business Federation

Don strongly believes that people are our nation’s most valuable asset. His Listen-Learn-Lead” approach to leadership has made him highly effective in executive roles in a variety of organizations with local, regional, national, and international reach.

An entrepreneurial thinker and strategist, Don built a grassroots movement of denominational and ministry leaders committed to evangelism with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and led a National Consultation in Ottawa.

Canadian Christian Business Federation
Email: don@ccbf.org
5792 Eighth Line East
Ariss, ON N0B 1B0
416-725-5586
https://www.ccbf.org