Being in Conflict (part seven)
Thus far in this series, our focus has been on helping to resource you, as a Christian leader, when you’re in conflict. We’ve outlined four distinctions to support you becoming skillful when you’re in deep weeds, as my pal and mentor Gary Mayes often says. The four are:
Distinction #1- For once, focus on you.
Distinction #2- Go for altitude.
Distinction #3- Get to neutral.
Distinction #4- Know thyself!
Today, we add the fifth distinction: “Who, before What and How”
As a leader, you are often called upon to referee when other people are sideways. Who, before What and How it the principle I employ virtually every time I help to broker a breakdown.
It is grounded in the reality that – through every experience of our lives — God is committed to make us like Christ. To my clients who are Christian, I say: God’s trying to make a Christian out of you!
God is so committed to transforming us into the likeness of Jesus, that he’ll allow conflicts to surface the selfishness, judgments, entitlement, and arrogance that undermine our effectiveness as witness to the world. God is so interested in our being authentic, that God will let conflict expose the manipulative game-playing and con-artistry each of us has mastered over our lifetime.
Said another way, God is more interested in the Who: the kind of person you are as you move through your life and relationships… than he is about what needs to be done to resolve the conflicted mess you’re in, and how you and the other party are to move on with your lives!
Got it? “Who, before what and how”.
The rub is, as humans we want out of the tension, out of the frustration, out of the discomfort of the conflict right now! We don’t care much about the character of Christ being formed in us– we want the no-good bum to pay!
We’re not all that interested whether the fragrance of Jesus is so evident that people around us begin to re-think what they’ve decided about Christ and those who say they follow him—we want to win!
Invite the battling parties to temporarily suspend their press for what and how. Ask them to consider what, in their own character, God is addressing through this upset.
Being in Conflict 7.docx