Recently, two of my son’s got into an argument over a basketball game they were playing outside. What started out as a fun competition turned into an argument laced with anger.
As I went outside to hear the commotion, I intervened by having them hug each other, say I love you, and then hold hands as they walked around the driveway. Needless to say, by the time that was over, we were all laughing about the whole thing.
If only all conflicts could be solved that easily.
Conflict is inevitable, and in any relationship that has value in our lives, tension will exist.
Have you noticed this?
Marriages, parenting, families, coworkers, friends and beyond, will navigate conflict at some point. The question is, how will we handle it, and what will come from it?
This is where we are challenged the most because, in the midst of the conflict, it’s easy to forget who we are fighting.
For example, have you ever been in an argument with someone, and by the end of it you forgot what you were even arguing about? I know I’ve been there several times, and this proves the point how we can lose sight of the main thing in conflict.
Right now in our culture, this is happening way too much. Families are divided, people are going off on social media, and others are being divided because of differing opinions. More than ever, relationships are disintegrating under the weight of conflict, leaving devastation in its wake.
However, when we know who we are fighting, everything changes.
So, who are you fighting?
Is it your spouse, your boss, your teenagers, your pastors, your President or a political party?
Some would say yes, and be emphatic about it. But the truth is, we are not fighting individuals. No, we are fighting against evil and the author of it.
Paul said this in Ephesians 6:12,
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Notice how clear this verse is in defining who we are fighting.
It’s not each other, but rather its evil rulers, authorities of the unseen world, mighty powers and evil spirits.
It’s these enemies that are causing division, distraction, heartache, death, abuse, injustice and so much more. These are the enemies of our souls, and they are seeking to kill, steal and destroy.
This is who we are fighting!
But notice, one of the main tactics of the enemy is to make us think our spouse is our enemy. The boss is our enemy. The Pastor or the church is our enemy. The kids are the enemy. But this is not true.
Knowing who you are fighting is just as important as knowing why you are fighting.
We are fighting against a spiritual enemy, and we can only defeat him in Jesus. Therefore, we must keep the main thing the main thing and remember what’s really going on. When our focus is clear, we can overcome division, strife, hardships, disagreements and more. In some cases, conflict can actually bring us closer together and grow us to a new level. In other cases, conflict can be resolved, and maybe the relationship is over, but we can move forward in peace.
Our lives do not have to be filled with drama and chaos. We do not have to go from one argument to the next.
Our lives can be filled with peace and healthy relationships that grow through conflict and give us confidence when we face it.
So, who are you fighting?
No matter where you are right now, God has a plan for you. There is hope, and your relationships can thrive through the ups and the downs of life.
Your marriage can make it. Your kids can be close to you. Your relationships can grow. Your life can have peace. Your future is bright.
Please know your real enemy, and defeat him.
Let God’s ways become your ways in conflict and see what happens.
So today, please tell the people in your life that you love them. Choose a higher level today and begin to fight your real enemy.
Over the next few blogs, I’m going to give practical tips on how to navigate conflict with the most important relationships in our lives.
I look forward to sharing more, and may God shine on you, with his peace.
I believe the best is yet to come!