Seven Sacrifices to Joy

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartIt’s a great day! At least I hope it is for you. You just made mine better by stopping by to have Coffee Hour with me! Grab your coffee, and your red Strand of Faith and let’s get back to this gift/sacrifice of communication and where I left off, which was without a planned talk, no notes, no nada, just an idea still trying to form as I made my way up front to talk to ladies who appeared eager to hear what I had to say! Talk about conflicted emotions!

What happened next was nothing short of an out-of-body experience as I began to share transparently about relationships, our biggest gift, and sometimes our biggest thorn. Somehow the subject wound its way right to conflict as a character developer and before you know it, I was inviting these moms to share some recent conflicts, giving them the four ways to work through any conflict. Sheesh, as I’m sitting here writing from my heart to yours, I can’t remember the order of them! 🙂

Okay; so we have talked about one: make a deposit before you make a withdrawal, and be sure not to join the deposit and withdrawal with a “but”! But actually the first step to allowing conflict to develop character is to check your motive, aka, your integrity. Are you exposing the conflict to work through it or to rub their noses in their “bad” ways? Is your motive to help them or hurt them? When you have done a heart-check and can proceed forward, then you begin by making that deposit before making a withdrawal.

Another great conflict character builder, one that is completely and utterly non-negotiable is integrity; use integrity! Recently I had conversations with a husband who was completely outraged by something his wife did and he wanted the world to know it. As I assimilated all the pieces of the puzzle he gave me, as well as the ones he didn’t, I had to ask him: Why is it you want these people told about this? Is it for restoration? Is it with the hope to reconcile? Or are you trying to hurt her because she hurt you? Of course, he didn’t have an answer! Many times we want to go to the person who hurt/offended us and prove our case; rub their noses in it, per say, or simply be understood. These are all conflict enhancers, not conflict erasers!

So step number two to resolving conflict while developing Christ-like character is to ask: What is my motive for trying to resolve the conflict? If you have a divided heart of any size, then you must wait until there is no division and love is the motive, restoration.

Step number three to allowing conflict to build your character is to get your facts straight. Well, since it is virtually impossible to know the other person’s heart, the only facts you can really bank on are those that involve you, your feelings, the way their actions made you feel. See, things are never as they seem, and we may think we have all the pieces to the puzzle of the conflict, but we more than likely do not. And even if we do, we don’t compound a wrong with a wrong. How we approach a wrong could make the whole thing right! Remember, there are always two sides of the story! Proverbs 18:13 tells us that he/she who answers a matter — in other words, tries to solve a conflict — before he hears it – which means to get both sides – it is folly to him/her!

Oh, how many times have I given a what-for and a how-could-you only to have a huge piece of humble pie smashed in my face!

And finally, speak words that lift up, not tear down; in other words validate so you can negotiate … through the painful, muddy waters of conflict. Jesus never condemned the sinner … only the sin!

Oh, and by the way, that situation that I got notified of before speaking, well, all four of these steps were brought to life and not only was my character developed, a bit stretched, but my heart was actually filled up with love for the one involved! These steps really work in resolving conflict while developing character!

Well, that’s a wrap on our character-building through conflict segment of this Sacrifice of Communication … a subject we could probably spend hours on, but we should wrap it up next week with some Good News about the Helper who was sent to help us with healthy communication.

Thanking Him for you,

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