Humility (Part 2) – Resolving Conflict God’s Way
There are certain characteristics which are essential to conflict. While the specifics of conflicts will differ, conflict requires a few main ingredients. A main ingredient is pride. Every conflict stems from an uncontrolled desire for justification or vindication. In conflicts, two people or parties are determined to get what they want. What heart dispositions should Christians cultivate to counteract pride?
In this week’s episode of the Biblical Counseling Podcast Pastor Jeff Christianson and his wife, Jennie Christianson, discuss the vital heart disposition of humility. As a reminder, Pastor Jeff and Jennie are discussing vital components of a heart which is ready to serve in conflict resolution. Counselors will respond to conflict resolution out of the character in their hearts. Counselors must cultivate humility and instill humility into their counselees to defuse conflict resolution.
A person of humility recognizes one’s finitude and fallibility. They acknowledge their limitations in knowledge and control over life. Thus, biblical humility leads to dependence upon God. 1 Peter 5:5 states that God gives grace to the humble. Those who desire to see God work in their lives must cultivate humility.
Pastor Jeff and Jennie share three important truths about humility and conflict resolution. First, they show how humility affects the way we respond to conflict. Every conflict draws its fuel from pride. If either party begins to demonstrate humility and humble themselves before God’s commands or the other person, conflict will naturally dissolve. Humility frees us from the need to be right. Humility recognizes that God is in control and that he deserves total control. Christians desire God’s glory through obedience to his Word more than winning arguments. Humility stops and asks the question: what is the purpose of this conflict? For what am I willing to sin and fight? Here are a few questions for self-reflection: In your last conflict, were you focused on winning the conflict or leaning into the Lord? Were you trying to prove that you were right and the other party was wrong, or were you trying to glorify God?
Second, a person of humility knows that God has more to teach you. When we are humble, we know that we still have blind spots and weaknesses the Lord is addressing. Even when we fall into unnecessary conflicts, humility self-reflects and brings conviction. Humility teaches us to serve others, since pride serves only ourselves.
Third, a person of humility has contentment. If we want more humility, we must cultivate contentment. There are only two types of people who can be baited into conflict, a greedy person and a needy person. If you are needy or greedy, someone can bait you into a conflict over something that you want. Contentment grows humility as we recognize that glorifying God is greater than gathering earthly possessions.
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