Healthy Patterns in Conflict

Healthy Patterns in Conflict

Conflict is inevitable. Have you noticed?

At some point, there will be conflict with our spouse, family, kids, co-workers, friends, roommates, classmates, teammates, ourselves, and more.

This reality is a part of our lives, which is why it’s so important we develop Godly patterns in conflict.

Have you been there?


Acknowledging this is big but the next step that follows is to understand what patterns we operate in so we can adjust and change. We’ve learned these patterns over time and they are a part of us, which is why it takes intentionality and humility to change and develop healthy patterns in conflict.

Some of the patterns we play out in conflict are:

  • Proving our points in a debate.
  • Over-talking the other person.
  • Not listening and only thinking about what we’re saying.
  • Being stubborn.
  • Refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing.
  • Refusal to acknowledge their hurt or reality.
  • Lying about what happened.
  • Talking about them to others instead of talking to them directly.
  • Using sarcasm as a weapon.
  • Saying mean things to hurt their feelings.
  • Refusal in making adjustments.
  • Focusing on being right versus getting it right.
  • Getting revenge or getting even.

When we admit what unhealthy patterns we have, God can begin to heal and change how we function through conflict.

But why does God care about our conflict?

”The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.“

Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭23

He cares because He delights in every detail of our lives and He made us to do life with others.

God says we’re better together.

”9. Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.“

Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4‬:‭9‬-‭10‬

Because God made us to do life with others, it’s possible to have healthy patterns in conflict.

1st – Build a bridge.

When we seek to build a bridge in conflict we’re looking for the resolution. We’re looking for the answer and how we can build trust in the relationship.

Being a bridge builder seeks unity, forgiveness, understanding, listening ears, and open hearts.

This is HUGE in us having healthy patterns in conflict.

Conversely, when we’re not bridge builders, we seek to be right at all costs and blow the bridge up when necessary. The problem is, that the shrapnel from this explosion hurts others and causes unnecessary drama.

Being a Child of God is being a bridge builder. Even when it’s for the relationship to end. We keep the bridge intact and move forward in love, grace, and truth.

Are you building bridges or seeking to blow them up?

Build a bridge and think long-term.

2nd – Tell the truth.

It’s so important we tell the truth even when it hurts. Too many times in conflict people lie, exaggerate, and use slander to make themselves right while tearing down the other person.

This is a mistake and it’s not the way of Jesus.

Here’s what one bible verse says about lying.

”Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.“

Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭4‬

Notice that lying crushes the spirit. It’s crushing the person telling the lies and the person being lied to.

But where there’s truth there’s freedom!

God moves through us when we tell the truth. However, He’s stifled if we lie. So when it comes to conflict, we must speak the truth in love and stay clean. We tell the truth to the person we’re in conflict with and with anyone else who knows about it or that’s connected to it.

My brother-in-law says this about telling the truth, “when you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.”

Live in truth, tell the truth, receive Jesus as truth, and do conflict in truth.

3rd – Be bigger, not better.

Doing conflict in Jesus’ way makes us bigger on the inside and sometimes bigger than others.

Doing conflict our way makes us small and petty as we want to be better than others.

I believe God has NOT called us to be better, but rather He’s called us to be bigger. Meaning, we take the high road and do conflict His way.

This means we forgive, we don’t get even and we don’t hold grudges. We overcome ourselves and others by forgiving them and loving them.

We have healthy boundaries which help us enter and exit relationships with balanced expectations. We do what’s right for others and ourselves. We want what’s best for everyone involved, and we pray for everyone too.

Life is too short trying to get even or to be better than others. That’s a low vision of what God has and sees for us.

So today, let’s embrace healthy patterns in conflict and do this God’s way.

Which of these three things can you focus on in conflict? Make a plan today and be ready when conflict comes.

Have a great week and the best is yet to come!


Pastor David Norris

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