Three Truths To Keep In Mind When Trying To Resolve Conflict—Part Three
And finally the third truth…
#3 - Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On You If You Are Angry!
Ephesians 4:26-27 is HUGE when it comes to both resolving conflict and keeping working relationships healthy.
One of the mistakes that I made pretty often when we began NewSpring Church was to try to internalize everything that came my way, trying to “figure out” what people were really saying and thinking INSTEAD of just asking them.
And that, my friends, gave the enemy a foothold that he used to climb all over me!
The scenario would go something like this…
Someone would say something in a meeting or in the halls that I didn’t like or agree with. In some instances I may have felt attacked or torn down. Of course that would make me angry…and I would usually just walk away…
BUT…when I finally calmed down I would begin to think about the person that had brought the issue to my attention…and instead of thinking about what they said I began to think about all of the things I didn’t like about them…and all of the problems I thought they had.
By the time the evening rolled around I would be sitting in my home having imaginary arguments with them (I always won!!!) AND…if I wasn’t careful I would begin to say slightly negatvie things about them in front of others…and actually looked for opportunities to tear them down.
Sin has a funny way of trying to justify itself!!!
So…several years ago I decided that if the Bible said to not allow the sun to go down on my anger…then that is exactly what I was going to do.
WHICH means I’ve had to make some late night phone calls. I’ve had to walk into some offices and close the door & say, “Hey, I know you probably didn’t mean it…but I felt torn down when you said what you said…”
(By the way…90% of the time the person who I was angry with is completely surprised that I took what they said the way I did. I had someone tell me a long time ago that words don’t have meanings…people have meanings. That is so true!)
Bottom line…I try my hardest to not go to bed angry at anyone! EVER! Sure, it’s made for some long conversaations…and there have been times that I have had to say, “Look, we obviously are not seeing eye to eye here…but can we at least agree that we are on the same team and pray through a solution?”
The enemy WANTS to destroy harmony among team members! He wants you to think negative thoughts about others. He wants us misunderstanding one another. Unity and harmony MUST be valued…and pride must be put aside so that effectiveness will continue!
There is NOTHING LIKE serving on a team where the people actually love one another…BUT that atmosphere doesn’t happen by accident…it only happens when each team member decides that the sun is not going to go down on their anger!