How often do you collaborate when you experience interpersonal conflict? God’s design for wise conflict management is that we work together to seek win-win solutions.
Proverbs says that we find what we seek: “He who seeks good finds good will, but evil comes to him who searches for it” (Proverbs 11:27).
In order to discover goodwill, we must literally co-labor with the other person involved in our conflict. This includes a journey inside each party to move from the positions to the underlying interests of the conflict. Often, the interests of both parties are the same.
Paul taught: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
We need the Holy Spirit’s insight to discover another person’s interests in order to collaborate. Solomon said: “Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). Understanding means insight. When we ask the Spirit of God to shine light into another person’s heart, we are able to see his or her underlying interests. Then we can understand those interests and collaborate for a win-win solution to conflict management. God’s wisdom will move us through conflict to community.
Commit today to collaborating through the conflict in your life. Co-labor with others for wise, win-win solutions by looking not only to your own, unselfish interests, but also the interests of others, including those of Christ (Philippians 2:1-5).