Disagreeing with love
6 vital things to remember when you're in conflict with friends and family.
We all have disagreements. Whether it's about our faith, our God, our job, or even something we have done. Disagreements are a part of our everyday life. As a teenager, most of them tend to be with our parents. As we grow up, this changes to people in the workplace or even our spouse. But when disputing with a parent, especially at a younger age, we must learn how to disagree with love.
Disagreements can destroy peace and trust, the two essentials in any good relationship. They can hinder the progress toward whatever goals we have set ourselves to achieve. Most importantly, disagreements can make us self-centered and selfish - characteristics that are not Christ-like in any way.
The power of words
It can be very difficult to argue without using harsh words, especially when a topic is important to you or making you angry. So how are we to act when in a disagreement without being rude? It's all about how we use our words:
- Our words can make or break friendships.
- Our words can cause long-lasting fights with our parents.
- Our words can hurt others around us - even those who aren’t involved.
- Most of all, our words can cause us to sin against God.
6 things to remember when conflict arises
So what should we do when conflict arises?
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
- Accept, listen to, and respect others and their opinions. Differences shouldn’t cause division. Sometimes, they can be a source of learning to strengthen the relationship.
- We are not to neglect those we disagree with, but instead pray for them.
- Where possible, mend the situation right away, no matter the size of the disagreement.
- Focus on the example of Jesus who 'spoke the truth in love'.
- Lastly, simply just pray. Pray for guidance, strength, and peace.
The connection between truth and love
For Christians. truth and love should go hand and hand. But, it's not always easy to be truthful and loving at the same time! Some of us have no problem speaking the truth, but can forget to be loving. Others of us are great at loving, but can’t tell the truth because it may cause pain. But in Ephesians, we are told to do both - speak the truth in a loving manner...
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way in him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Here's some questions to leave with you:
- Are there any conflicts in your life that you need to resolve?
- Are you speaking the truth in love?
- Are you using your words to build people up, and not bring them down?