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In life, we inevitably encounter situations that provoke our anger—situations where we feel wronged and justified in our reactions. Take, for example, the frustration of waiting for a spouse or a friend who’s running late—standing alone in a crowd waiting for them to show up. Time drags on, you’re hungry and cold, and you desperately need to use the restroom. Each passing moment feels like a personal affront. How could they subject you to this? It’s almost as if they did it intentionally, which is just like them.

It’s a “Mad” World 

It’s intriguing that the term “mad,” as we commonly use it today, meaning angry, shares etymological roots with “madness.” The connection between the madness of lunacy and the madness of rage is more profound than we often realize. It’s a recognized fact that when anger consumes us, we can slip into a state akin to temporary lunacy. In moments of anger, we often don a distorted lens through which we view the world, leading us to hasty judgments and flawed assessments.

 

Proverbs 18:13 says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” This warning underscores the importance of truly listening in conflict resolution. This deeper listening forms the cornerstone of resolving disputes.

 

In fact, the Book of Proverbs provides a wealth of insights into conflict resolution of all kinds. Below, you’ll find practical tips for navigating conflicts directly drawn from the wisdom of Proverbs.

Drawing from the Timeless Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs: Practical Tips for Navigating Conflicts

  • Avoid Senseless Quarreling: Proverbs 20:3 says, “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” Spending just a brief amount of time on social media reveals a concerning trend: many people appear to be addicted to quarreling.

 

Even among families who faithfully attend church and strive to live according to God’s teachings, it’s not uncommon for conflicts to erupt during the car ride to and from church. The Bible identifies this behavior as “foolishness.” Quarreling often becomes a default mode—it’s easy, but it’s something we must actively resist.

 

  • Exercise Restraint in Anger: Proverbs 12:16 says, “A fool’s wrath is known at once…” Those given to foolishness readily express their displeasure, often exacerbating conflicts. Christians are called to exercise self-control, resisting the impulse to lash out in anger. Instead, we should imitate Christ’s example of patience and forbearance. This often means, as Jesus did, ignoring insults. 

 

  • Prevent Quarrels Before They Begin: Proverbs 17:14 says, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore, stop contention before a quarrel starts.” Maintaining peace is akin to holding water in a cup: manageable when contained, but once spilled, incredibly challenging to gather back up.

 

Therefore, it’s prudent to nip conflicts in the bud. Rather than succumbing to irritability or the temptation to point out faults, exercise restraint. Refusing to engage in petty disputes preserves relationships and prevents unnecessary strife.

 

  • Seek Understanding: Proverbs 18:17: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” This proverb underscores the importance of perspective-taking in conflict resolution. When consumed by anger, our judgment becomes clouded, and we’re inclined to see only our version of events. True resolution requires listening to and understanding the other party’s perspective. James 1:19 says, “[L]et every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…”

Peace is Worth Fighting For

Conflicts often arise most frequently with those closest to us—family members, friends, or colleagues—where our vulnerabilities are bare. Yet, it’s imperative to safeguard these relationships, recognizing them as precious gifts from God. Conflict and quarreling are like weeds that can infiltrate any garden if left unchecked. Fighting against conflict demands continual vigilance and effort, but it’s a battle worth waging.

 

While the strategies mentioned above offer practical guidance, ultimately, none of these conflict resolution methods can work without God’s grace. When faced with conflict, the most crucial action is to pray with the other person or seek individual prayer if that is the only avenue open to you at the time.

 

Romans 12:21 urges us to “overcome evil with good,” reminding us that God’s redemptive power can transform even the most fraught relationships. Therefore, let us approach conflict resolution with humility, seeking not only resolution but also restoration and healing, guided by the love and wisdom of our Creator.

 

For further guidance on restoring relationships in alignment with God’s intentions—whether it’s fostering friendships, enriching marriages, or strengthening bonds with your childrenvisit our website, explore our ministries, or join us for Sunday worship at Dream City Church.

 

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