Posted by: Diane | May 26, 2014

Conflict Resolution— Part 1

During the weekend, I prepared a mini-presentation for the Education Segment of our Toastmaster meeting tonight.

I really enjoy talking about Conflict Resolution.

I came across a story that brought home the subtle, but strongly held belief, lurking within those in conflict.

Seasoned travellers are well aware of the many different plugs and sockets in use around the world — fourteen different types, to be exact. All shapes and sizes.

Socket 3Socket 6









Socket 5Socket 1








You get the point.

Today, in the global market, having so many different plugs and sockets is highly inconvenient and costly. The International Electrotechnical Commission issued its International Standard for a universal plug in the 1970s but thus far, it has only been adopted by two countries. It’s very unlikely that there will be a run on a world wide socket standardization in the near future. Literally hundreds of millions of plugs and sockets have been installed and who would convince so many countries to invest in changing its whole infrastructure? It’s not at the top of international needs.

These days, we alleviate  the problem by using adaptors but the story goes that many years ago, the European Union met to discuss how to solve this problem. The French came up with an idea — “If everyone in the world would just use this particular prong, everything would be fine.”

They were advocating for the French prong.

It’s the same with conflict.

“If everyone would just see it my way, things would run smoothly” is the unspoken commitment of many as they enter into disagreements.

Sin pulls us towards attitudes that do not lend themselves to healthy, biblical conflict resolution.

It’s hopeless. He’s always… ”    JUDGEMENT

“I’m right. She’s wrong.”     ARROGANCE

“She really hurt me. I’ll never forgive her.”      UNFORGIVENESS

“I don’t care. I don’t need this.”     SELF PROTECTION

“I refuse to discuss it.”     STUBBORNNESS

What’s the point. Nobody cares about me. ”      SELF-PITY

He doesn’t know what’s right like I do.”     SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

I don’t need any more stress in my life.”    FEAR

These are some examples of wrong thinking that set us up for unresolved and ongoing conflict, yet as Ken Sande says, “Every time you encounter conflict, you have an opportunity to show what you really think of God.”  

What powerful insight.

Conflict is inevitable so it’s healthier to learn how to deal with it in a way that honours God. Conflict is valuable because God uses it as a strategy for developing personal growth, when our sinful attitudes are challenged. It’s also a way to achieve intimacy because it provides the platform on which we can learn to clarify, articulate, listen and understand others. Thirdly, conflict can increase and intensity commitment because extending grace, forgiving and resolving disagreements ultimately build stronger, more authentic relationships.

I don’t like being in conflict any more than anyone else but I am committed to live in harmony with others. One of the driving forces in my life is found in Romans 12.18 — If if is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

In the above story, the whole world using the French prong wasn’t the answer.

Others giving in to my viewpoint in a disagreement isn’t the answer either.

It’s not productive.

It’s not healthy.

It’s not loving.

can't we all just get along?

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.  Psalm 133.1-3 NIV


  1. and Diane knocks another one out of the park!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: