Conflict is a part of human relationships. It’s a doubtful, if not impossible, for any of us to not have had a conflict with someone at some point in time in our life.
Human conflict is not so much the issue as how we handle the conflict. There are two types of personalities that arise when conflict happens. The first is “conflict avoiders.” These folks tend to look at conflict as something that just not that big of a deal or if they leave it alone long enough, it will go away on its own.
The problem with being a conflict avoider is that most of the relationships they have are very superficial. They simply never address the real issues in their life which causes their relationships to stagnate.
The second type of personality to arise in a conflict is the “conflict enjoyer.” The conflict enjoyer is always looking for conflict. They live their life going from one conflict to the next. They bristle up at the first sign of conflict and are ready to weigh in with their opinions the minute the conflict arises.
The problem with conflict enjoyers is they tend to shut down the people in their relationships by never allowing them an opportunity to respond and say anything. They are relentless always wanting to argue their point.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man,” reads Proverbs 3:3-4.
In some translations the word loyalty is used in place of love and the word kindness is used for faithfulness. This passage speaks directly to the two personalities in conflict. Loyalty speaks to the conflict avoider by telling us that our relationships require loyalty. When we avoid conflict, we are telling that person on the other side of the relationship that we are no longer loyal to them or that we have no interest in resolving the conflict and continuing a healthy relationship with that person.
The word kindness is used to speak to the conflict enjoyer. Kindness cares just as much what the other person has to say as it does what the conflict enjoyer has to say.
We are going to have conflicts but healthy relationships in our life ask that we address them and resolve them in kindness, loyalty and love.