Thursday, April 28, 2016
5 Benefits of Dealing with Conflict
Many people avoid conflict like the plague. But did you know conflict serves a purpose? Yes, it is actually a good thing when viewed and handled properly. So today I am going to discuss the benefits of dealing with conflict so we will be less fearful of it when it inevitably happens and not run from relationships because of it. I will also touch on some facets of how to handle conflict, but this is by no means a comprehensive discussion. Let's start with some of the benefits of dealing with conflict.
Who doesn't want a good night's sleep? When we go to bed angry or not having resolved something that happened during the day, there is a good chance our sub-conscious mind will keep trying to resolve it during the night. This results in a disturbed sleep. We will wake up not feeling as refreshed as we should. The next day we will probably be irritable and short-tempered.
2. Restores Our Peace
Unresolved issues steal our peace. Our mind is divided. We are torn between focusing on our daily activities and responsibilities and stewing on the unresolved issues. This leads to a lack of productivity and mental stress. When we choose to deal with issues, we get them out on the table and off our minds. We may not come to a resolution overnight but at least we have a peace knowing we have confronted the problem, rather than allowing it to loom over us like a grizzly bear.
3. Restores Our Joy
Addressing conflict is freeing! When we confront and talk out issues with the other person, we get the emotions out of our bodies. We feel that a weight has been lifted. This allows the joie de vivre - the spirit of God - to fill us once again with joy which is our birthright as a child of God who is the giver of all Joy.
4. Helps Us Grow Emotionally and Spiritually
Conflict helps us to learn about ourselves, others, and God. When we are experiencing conflict, it means there is a lesson that needs to be learned or perhaps relearned.
For example, I have been in the habit of trying to address issues with people who really don't want to change or do what it takes to maintain the relationship. They may say they do, but their actions speak louder than their words. If someone truly cares about you, they will care about your feelings as well. They will not want to continue to hurt you, criticize you, or otherwise emotionally abuse you. These types of people are what Dr. Henry Cloud calls "unsafe people". The lesson for me is not to expend so much energy trying to resolve issues if the other person does not make any effort to address my concerns and I have to keep broaching the subject over and over.
When conflicts are addressed and both parties are truthful and open, this provides room for God to work. Conflict is never a one-way street. Both parties usually have a part to play in the problem and both parties will win in the end if handled properly.
5. Prevents Stress-Related Illness
It is important to realize constant conflict on a regular basis is not healthy. Chronic conflict leads to stress which leads to all kinds of physical ailments. This is why the Bible exhorts us to not go to bed angry. (Eph 4:26). Undealt with negative emotions steal our energy, our joy and our peace. We need to take action sooner rather than later, and deal with the source of the conflict by addressing the issues with the other person in a calm and direct manner.
God exhorts us to remove strife from our life it we want to enjoy peace and harmony (Prov 17:1). Some people don't mind arguing and fighting, but I prefer peace and harmony. Nor does mean sweeping things under the rug. It means confronting issues to clear the air and remove any negative feelings. Here are some more scripture verses on strife.
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Until next time, don't run from conflict. Deal with it and keep looking up!