I must be honest for when I read of the topic for this week I was quick to dismiss it and move on. But I have found myself thinking about the topic again as the week as progressed and after much thought, some research and prayer a blog began to emerge.
First up I must confess that the conflicts I faced in my two pastorates were not handled at all that well on my part, in fact I am ashamed to admit that they were disastrous. Now that I am supposed to be much wiser and mature I have seen the methodology in a much more purer light.
The first mistake that I kept on making was to deal with conflict in my own strength and methods, even though I followed at times the instruction laid out in scripture. This is a mistake that we often fall into.
How would I do now? Firstly, I would turn to the Lord in prayer for guidance, strength and wisdom. I have since learned that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and darkness in high places. I have also come to understand that our weapons/methods are not carnal, but heavenly. Therefore, I would come first to the Lord in prayer before doing anything else and kept pressing in until an answer emerged.
I would keep these principles in mind.
1/ I may well need to repent for I could have been the source of the conflict either knowingly or unknowingly. If not, my reaction would most likely be not saintly and if left unchecked would only add flames to the fire. I hope I would take responsibility and be transparent before the Lord.
2/ I would pray for discernment that I would not come under guilt and condemnation for in so doing I would be opening the door for the enemy to come in and rob me of the Fathers blessings.
3/ I would seek in prayer to forgive those who are in conflict with me, being careful that there is no trace of bitterness in my heart.
4/ I would ask God to bless those that curse me; that Gods favour may rest on them.
By this time, I would expect that a course of action on my part would be becoming clear that would be in accordance with spiritual principle laid out in the scriptures.
I have sought to apply these strategies to any conflict that I have faced in recent times, not so much within a church situation, but certainly within my work environment. I am pleased to announce that they have been successful.