Seven Sacrifices to Joy

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartWelcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power … and me! I’m so delighted you could make the time to take the time to stop by for more of this series. Grab your coffee and your red Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots in our strand of faith about communication and learn how to handle conflict instead of run from it!
Let’s face it; whenever we hear the word conflict, most of us run for cover … or just ignore it, or even make it worse by adding to it. What if I told you that God desires to use conflict as a character builder? Seriously! There are so many scriptures to back this up, directives to tell us how, and many promises that confirm the reward! All we need to do is to consciously choose to practice a few practical steps when faced with a conflict. You know what would happen? We would be changed! The conflict may still remain, but its power over us lessens its negative effect in us and over us, no longer able to suck the joy out of us, let alone precious life. Practicing these steps will build our Christ-like character. Let’s talk about as many as we can today.
My favorite one is incredibly effective, and it’s the one I try the most: make a deposit before you make a withdrawal! In other words, find something good to affirm before proceeding to the core of the conflict. And for heaven’s sake, don’t make that deposit and then erase it with a “but”!
Granted, it’s much easier to resolve conflict with like-minded people than with someone who just insists on being unlovable; however, that unlovable only became unlovable when they began to feel unloved!
See, Ephesians 4:26 says that God knows we’re going to get angry; it’s what we do in our anger that separates us from this world! Making a deposit before making a withdrawal is seasoning the speech with salt as Colossians 4:6 tells us to do. Now, what does this look like? Well, I think the most generic one could go something like this: “I really value you as a ____________ (you fill in the blank: friend/husband/sibling) and I need to share something with you that sort of stepped on my emotional foot. I know you didn’t do it on purpose; I just wanted to bring it to your attention and let you know why it hurt because if I don’t, it will happen again and I don’t want anything to interfere with my relationship with you.”
See, that’s not too hard, is it? Now, here’s the deal, though: You won’t be able to control their response or how they receive it, but you can pray before you make that deposit and before you take that withdrawal!
The other day, a friend was sharing a story on Facebook of how he just got sick and tired of being given the runaround and being talked to in such a way that even a dog would cringe. Well, it pushed his button and he let them have it, and while he may have felt momentarily better after the explosion, he was completely exasperated and exhausted after the dust settled! See, that’s not how we’re supposed to feel in and through a conflict. There can be victory when we draw that line. He had a right to draw his line, as many of us feel we do when we reach that point. The difference is: how we draw our boundary line in times of conflict should give us a sense of victory, wrapped up with peace, not an exasperated exhaustion.
Well, practice makes perfect, and while I don’t wish you any conflict today, I do pray that you will be able to put into practice this first conflict solver in the gift/sacrifice of communication!
Join me tomorrow for an experience that has never happened to me before, but I lived through it to tell it, so I’m going to!

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