When we don't take the time to put ourselves in other people's shoes then we can draw all sorts of wrong conclusions.
1 Kings 20.1-12
Reference: v.9 So he replied to Ben-Hadad's messengers, "Tell my lord the king, 'Your servant will do all you demanded the first time, but this demand I cannot meet.'" They left and took the answer back to Ben-Hadad. (NIV Bible)
Explore: People will often disagree. However, when conflict arises there are many people who shy away from confronting the other person. There is that small percentage of people who thrive on conflict, but the rest of us who would be more than happy just to sweep it under the carpet.
I can't say that Ahab and Ben-Hadad are really giving us a great example of conflict resolution. This passage is just a series of messages being passed backward and forward. If this is how we deal with conflict then little will be resolved and misunderstanding will reign.
Application: Racism, sexism, and bigotry are all results of lack of understanding. When we don't take the time to put ourselves in other people's shoes then we can draw all sorts of wrong conclusions. My two basic steps for conflict resolution is 1. try to see the other person's perspective and 2. tell the other person how you feel so they can see your perspective. It's not fool-proof but it can help to bring understanding. We will never fully understand what it's like to be another person, but that doesn't mean that we stop trying.
Prayer: Lord, you have made each one of us differently. While your creativity is amazing it can sometimes lead to disagreements. Help us to show understanding and empathy in each conflict situation. Amen.
What have you found helpful when resolving conflict?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.