Conflict is never a fun experience; it always involves pain and hurt that becomes hard to get over. But there is a way to turn messy conflicts around.
I’ve been hurt many times by people who were dear and close to me. The actions that they took completely showed that my interests were not in their mind.
The pain felt real and tears became unstoppable.
I started to say things like, “How could they do that? Were they really that heartless to even think of that? Do they not care about my feelings?”
I was ready to express my feelings and speak words that I felt they deserved to hear.
I asked God, “Am I wrong to feel this way?”
God’s response to me was, you’re not in the wrong to feel the pain and that person did do wrong. But despite the pain and hurt, God reminded me that he still had a greater calling for me: to be like Jesus.
To be like Jesus is to humble myself, to put others’ interests before my own, and to love as he loved.
We have a greater calling to be like Jesus in every situation.
Philippians 2:1-4 says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
We will have no reason to be hurt when we humble ourselves and put the interests of others before our own.
Messy conflicts turn beautiful when we put the interests of others before our own.
If we have been united with Christ and share in his spirit of love and compassion, then we are to live it out by putting others first.
Jesus himself always put others before himself. He took the nature of a servant to those who beat and mistreated him. Philippians 2:8-9 says, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”
Just as God exalted Jesus for his sacrifice, God too will lift us up as we humble ourselves. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
When God lifts us up, we no longer need to lift ourselves up. When we try to lift ourselves up, we end up hurting ourselves, the other person, and the image of Christ in us. But if we humble ourselves and pursue to be like Jesus, we will find joy and shine Jesus’s love onto others.
You’re going to experience conflict in all aspects of your life; work colleagues, family, friends, and significant other. But it’s in those moments of conflict that we have the choice to turn it around by putting them first.
You have the greatest opportunity to shine the love of Jesus in the midsts of conflict. Imagine how much conflict you would avoid by putting others’ needs above your own. When life becomes less about us and more about others, it positions us to love others.
How would living a selfless life look in your life? How would it impact your life and the life of others? Will you put other’s interests before your own and trust that God will take care of you? Will you pursue to be like Jesus in any situation you face?
We have the power to turn messy conflicts around by our own choice to respond like Jesus. We don’t have to wait for the other person to act right for us to heal and be filled with joy. God’s love is all we need. His love positions us to love others despite what has been done to us. So remember, turn messy conflicts around by putting others first.
Prayer: Lord, help me to put others’ needs before my own so that I can always walk in your love.