Unity through Conflict Resolution
A few years ago, the Archbishop’s Listening Sessions revealed that most of his people desired unity for the Archdiocese. This was so beautiful to hear because we know that unity is always the desire of God’s heart. One of Jesus’s last prayers on earth was “Father, I pray that they may all be one as you an I are one…so that the world may know that you sent me.” (John 17:21) This means that our unity as Christians is either the secret sauce that attracts the world or repels it.
But unity at the local level really rests on the ability of each and every one of us to process through disagreement and conflict person to person. So what is the one thing that resolves most conflicts? Communication.
In today’s conversation, we give a few scripture passages for you to mediate on as well as advice from the book Crucial Conversations.
- Matthew 18:15-20 – This is the well-known advice that we talk to our brother who sins before bringing others into the conflict. However, the context, the parable of the unforgiving servant, gives us a pretty clear warning. We need to remember our own debt and what the Lord has done to forgive us.
- Philippians 2:1-4 – Humbly regard others as more important than yourself. Let go of your ego and go into conversations really respecting the other person.
- Philippians 4:1-3 – This is the practical example of “count others as better than yourself” (Phil 2:3)
S – State the Facts
T – Tell Your Story
A – Ask for Feedback
T – Talk Tentatively
E – Encourage Testing
But what about when your emotions get wrapped up in these conversations?
- Try another day
- Contrasting: Name the fear proactively. “I’m not saying XYZ.”
- 4 questions to ask yourself:
- Why would a reasonable person be doing X?
- What do I really want in this situation?
- What will the consequences be if I do not say something?
- What do I want for this person?