Welcome to the New Year! Could you see conflict as an opportunity?

Might the new year bring more “opportunities” than you first thought?

Whilst it is already February and the start of 2016 may seem such a long time ago – for many of us this is the month that we actually realise that another year has commenced and get used to writing 2016 when we date things!

How are your New Year’s resolutions working out? How are your relationships going?

How do we actually stick to our New Year’s resolutions? Most of us know by experience that just deciding to do things differently just doesn’t cut it. We need something more.

The Bible tells us that we change from the inside – that change starts in our mind and heart. The writer of Proverbs said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

How we live and relate is actually the product of how we see things and how we see things comes from our beliefs and thoughts.

If we want to make effective and long lasting changes in our lives, we need to understand the why behind our what. What do we actually believe and think? And why?

What we all need, especially when we find ourselves repeating bad habits or arguing over the same things or with the same person is a renewed mind and a transformed heart. We need a mind that “sees things differently” and a heart that “believes differently”.   When we seek to see the situation as God sees a situation and choose to believe the good news the Bible says about Jesus’ all sufficient love, forgiveness and justice for us, we can rely on him to help us “say and do things differently”. We can also change to become a person who desires to love and serve others more than loving and serving ourselves – because we can believe that God loves and cares for us. We can even see conflict not as something to escape from or a reason to attack someone, but in fact see conflict as an opportunity to grow to love the people around us, become more like Jesus and honour and please God.

The Bible says,” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

 

To find out more about seeing conflicts as opportunities and the wonderfully redemptive effect this can have on your relationships, read the Preface and Chapter 1 of The Peacemaker (Ken Sande).

(Over this year, through each edition of Peace it together, we will be share the basic peacemaking principles as covered in each chapter of the book, The Peacemaker (by Ken Sande).)