March 25, 2011

Avoiding Conflict

Posted in Christianity at 6:49 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)

Recently, a friend approached me for advice. She had been talking with someone when the subject turned to a matter that was especially sensitive for my friend. After visiting for a few moments, she tried to change the subject. Unfortunately, her deflection was too subtle, and the person she was talking to didn’t understand that she no longer wanted to discuss the matter at hand. My friend felt uncomfortable, but since she didn’t want to create a rift between the two of them, she let the encounter slide. She asked me how to delicately let this person know that this subject matter is simply off limits.

As a non-confrontational person myself, I was short on advice for her. One of the best ways to handle matters such as these is to pray about it. Even though it is uncomfortable to approach these situations directly, it is often wise to tell the other person what you’re feeling. When the other person doesn’t know how you feel, she (or he) can’t help but occasionally venture into some subjects about which you would just rather not talk. The Lord will give us wisdom when talking to others about such matters. When we approach our friends with love, talking things out strengthens the bonds of friendship and helps us have healthier relationships.

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