224 What You Can Do When There Is Conflict


What You Can Do When There Is Conflict


What You Can Do When There Is Conflict


What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
You desire and do not have, so you murder.
You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…

James 4:1-2 ESV


One of the ways that the devil attacks our lives is through creating conflict with those around us. He delights in isolating us from those we need the most.

We all encounter conflict from time to time, but we have a choice as to how we deal with it. Satan appeals to our fleshly nature inciting us to want to “win” or be “right” and for the other person to “lose” or be “wrong.” But God, as always, has a better way…

Let me tell you the story of two neighbors who were good friends, and shared an apple tree. Well actually they didn’t really share the tree. It grew on the side of the property line belonging to the Miller family. But because the tree’s branches hung above the Jacksons’ property, they frequently helped themselves to its apples.

Mr. Miller became greatly annoyed by the Jacksons partaking of the apples from his tree. Annoyance escalated into conflict, which continued for years until Mr. Miller finally filed suit in small claims court, and, of course, Mr. Jackson counter-sued.

The judge ruled that since the two parties could not come to an agreement, the tree would be cut down. After that neither Mr. Miller nor Mr. Jackson could enjoy the apples. All that remained was the rotting, ugly stump as a reminder to each of them of the bitterness of their feud.

Years passed without either man speaking to the other. One day, Mr. Miller was reminded of their once close friendship and decided that it was high time for their feud to end. He approached Mr. Jackson and right then and there they settled the issue about the apple tree. Over time they even became good friends again.

At some point, Mr. Miller asked Mr. Jackson why they were never able to get along about that old apple tree. With the passage of time, they no longer talked about their “rights” to the apples, but more about why they each wanted and enjoyed them in the first place. Mr. Miller loved the apples for making apple-sauce and Mr. Jackson’s wife used the apples to make delicious apple cakes.

At the time of their conflict Mr. Miller and Mr. Jackson were only interested in winning the fight. They created a situation in which the only possibility was for one of them to “win” and the other to “lose.”

But if they had been willing to be open with one another and discuss the matter, looking beyond their own needs, they might have found they both could “win” by filling the need of the other person. It truly was possible for each man to win. Unfortunately they made it come to a lose-lose – neither of them was able to continue enjoying the apples.

So, when conflict arises, and it surely will in this life, consider the other person’s needs and wants in an effort to work it out as a win-win situation for both of you. Don’t take, talk about and stand fast to a position. Be committed to making it work and to showing your vulnerability. It just might save the apple tree you’ve been fighting over and allow you each to enjoy the delicious apples.

Will you choose to forget your position and focus on meeting another person’s need? Now, that’s the choice-driven life!




Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezek 37-39; John 13; Psalm 87





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The Most Important Choice You Can Make: Prayer for Salvation: God in Heaven, I come to You in the name of Your Son, Jesus. I confess that I haven’t lived my life for You. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He died on the cross and rose again from the dead so I might have a better life now and eternal life in heaven. Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.
From this day forward, I’ll live my life for You to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. Click Here if you need more information.


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