Foe to Friend

Conflict will not resolve itself. Rather do something about it.  Passivity is not the path to peace.  Approach conflict with a right heart. How do we do that?Friend

If we can call the one you are in conflict with, an “opposer,” you will know who we are talking about.

What to do to get your opposer from “Foe to Friend”:

  • Compliment your opposer: Compliment the positive character traits your opposer possesses. Express a sincere compliment at the right time. Psalm 37:30 “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.”
  • Whenever your opposer does you harm, repay it with good. Look for and extend acts of kindness. Talk to God and ask Him to help you not to act negatively towards your opposer. Don’t demean your opposer in any way. Romans 12:17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”
  • Pray for your opposer: Ask God to reveal your opposer’s real needs and pray that God will provide for your opposer.  Look through God’s eyes to your differences with the opposer. Commit to pray for your opposer every time (s)he comes to mind. 1 Samuel 12:23 “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”
  • Empathise with your opposer – by means of metaphor, “try to get into his shoes,” see through his/her eyes, feel like (s)he does: Learn about the past hurts and hardships your opposer has experienced. Get in touch with your feelings as you think about your own hurts and hardships. Allow yourself to feel compassion as you identify with your opposer. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
  • Nurture a forgiving heart toward your opposer: Realise that you are not complete. Imagine what life was like before you were a true believer.   Pray for God to give you a willingness to forgive just as He was willing to forgive you. Mark 11:25 “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
  • Love your opposer as Jesus loves him/her: See yourself as a conduit of God’s love. Look for tangible ways to express love. Keep focusing on “What is in the best interest of my opposer” … and then do it. Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law.”

Try to meet the needs of your opposer:  Reach out to your opposer – look for something that is meaningful to him/her.  Try to fulfill those needs.  Be there when (s)he is going through a tough time etc. Romans 12:20 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”