Every one of us has been in an argument or disagreement before. Chances are, some of us are in the middle of one right now! I know very few people who actually LIKE conflict (and no one really likes to hang out with them!), and I certainly don't enjoy being at odds with anyone, but resolving a healthy conflict is a great feeling. Why don't we experience that kind of resolution more often? Let me give you 3 reasons why we tend to fail at conflict resolution:
- WE ASSUME THAT IT'S THEIR FAULT.Most conflicts arise because someone is upset with someone else based on what they feel the other person has done wrong. "Well, she said ...," "Did you see what he did to me ...," "Well I didn't mean it that way, they just misunderstood me ...," "It's not my fault they took it that way ..." By nature, a conflict arises because two people feel that they are right, conversely believing that the other person is wrong. What would happen if we assumed the conflict was OUR fault and we approached the other person out of humility instead of defensiveness? (Check out Ephesians 4:2-3)
- WE REFUSE TO SEE OUR FAULTS. I hate to admit it, but I have a hard time admitting when I'm wrong, even when I know I am. This is ESPECIALLY true when I've invested a lot of time and energy into proving how right I am! Have you ever fought so hard for something and realized about half way through the conflict you had to change what you were fighting for due to your original point being wrong?! (Stick with me on this one.) So many times we realize mid-conlict that we're wrong but are too prideful to admit it. What would happen if we were quick to confess our faults in order to move past the conflict? (Check out James 5:16)
- WE CAN'T MOVE PAST ANY FAULTS. I'm amazed by how many relationships are ruined because of this one. How many friendships/relationships have you seen fall apart because one or both of the people arguing couldn't bet past the conflict even after there was an apology? We get so hung up on bitterness, anger, and an inability to truly forgive - either their faults or our own - that the conflict lasts long after its supposed resolution. What would happen if we truly forgave, realizing that we too have been forgiven? (Check out Ephesians 4:31-32)
By definition, a fault is "a deficiency or imperfection." While none of us would ever claim to be perfect, we sure are quick to point out everyone else's imperfections (faults) during a conflict before acknowledging what we already know - we're not perfect (faulted).