5 Reasons to Seek Help with Conflict

In their book Redeeming Church Conflicts: Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care, Tara Klena Barthel and David V. Edling discuss some of the reasons that it may be wise to involve others during a church conflict. We should never be ashamed to ask for help from an outside person or a third party.

5 Reasons to Seek Help with Conflict

1. We have blind spots. We all have blind spots during conflict, but others can frequently see what we cannot see because they are not emotionally invested. The outside person can hear several perspectives and are not committed towards one perspective being right.

2. We forget the truth. When our hearts are weighed down with crushing burdens, it can be hard to remember the truth of the situation and to focus on the things that are lovely, excellent, admirable, or praiseworthy (see Phil. 4:8).

3. Our fear is powerful. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that we face. When we’re afraid that we may be losing control of a situation or about to lose something of great value to us, our judgment can become skewed.

4. Our tempers can be held in-check. The presence of an impartial third party can help hold tempers under control and help conflicted people agree on fundamental rules of fairness.

5. We need encouragement. A neutral third party can encourage us when all seems hopeless and lost. He or she can remind us of the sure foundation and hope that we have in Christ.

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I Miss My Mommy

You wouldn’t think that a grown man would miss his mother, but I miss my mom more and more each year.  My mom went home to be with the Lord in 1992 at the age of 60.  She was the heart and soul of our family, especially when it came to holidays and birthdays.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is etched in my mind forever and revolves around my mom.  For some reason when I was about 10-years-old, she decided to move the Christmas tree from its usual spot in the living room of our modest little eastern Kentucky home, to the dining area off the kitchen.  She placed it in front of the breakfast nook window and it snowed during the holidays that year.

I remember staring at the Christmas tree with the snow coming down outside in the background. For some reason the combination of the simplicity of the tree, the falling snow, a warm house, homemade candy, and my family nearby is a memory that remains vivid to me.  Even at the time, I seemed to sense that I was experiencing something special.

Enjoy every moment with your family this Christmas and be thankful for each person.  Be sure to slow down so you can notice and appreciate the “little” things about them and about the holiday.  This may be the year that your favorite Christmas memory is etched in your mind to enjoy for years to come.

Learning from a Pig

PigThe Hatfield and McCoy feud started over ownership of one lone pig. In the late 1800’s it was common for Eastern Kentuckians to turn their swine loose to forage freely until time to round them up for slaughter. Each porker sported a distinctive family “brand” that identified him as a “Jones, McCoy, Hatfield, Rice, etc.” The long-lasting feud began because one family believed the other family had killed and eaten one of their pigs.

For an entire decade I had the privilege of pastoring smack-dab in the middle of the feud area with several Hatfields and McCoys as active members of my church. The thing that many do not understand about “The Feud” is that it lasted for many years. The hatred and bitterness brewed with killings happening after long periods of dormant feud activity.

The Bible instructs us not to let little things brew and fester. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” Don’t let things build up over time or you might find yourself “feudin’ over pig’s feet” (Interpretation: fighting over insignificant matters.)