Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

I don’t know how it happened, but a chicken and an elephant were locked in a cage together. (This is probably not a true story.) As soon as the cage door slammed shut, the chicken turned to the elephant, eyed him from his enormous head to his gigantic toes, and said, “We need to set a few ground rules. First, let’s try not to step on each other.”

One unpreventable certainty of relationship is that we tend to step on each other. In any home, in any family, and in any relationship in general, there are bound to be conflicts.

Have you ever been stepped on? Has your spouse ever stepped on you and made you feel like pulling out your hair in frustration? Have your children ever stepped on you and gotten on the ragged tip of your last nerve? What about outside of the home? Have you been stepped on by a colleague at work? By a close friend? Or by someone at church? Of course, the answer to those questions is “yes.”

The good news is, God has something to say about conflict in families, in the church, at school, and in other relationships.

More good news…the Bible does not assume that we live in a fantasyland where there’s never a conflict! Instead, God’s Word acknowledges that conflict is a reality of life, and it gives us some prohibitions and principles to keep in mind when we’re dealing with conflict in our relationships.

Prohibitions to keep in mind when you’re facing a conflict:

1.     Don’t express your anger sinfully.

2.     Don’t let your anger turn to bitterness.

3.     Don’t use hurtful words in your anger.

Principles to keep in mind when you’re facing a conflict:

1.     Remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you.

2.     Act with a kind and tenderhearted motivation.

3.     Forgive as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!