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Managing Conflict

The Book of Galatians gives tons of instructions on how to manage conflict. Starting in chapter one and verse three, Paul tells us to take the peace and the grace from God our Father who gave Himself for us to rescue us from this present evil age. Ladies, we can't do life without grace, right? And then he tells us to guard against confusion. Don't turn away from truth. He was shocked that believers were so easily snared. And he said, You're following a different way that pretends to be the good news being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Now, that doesn't sound like manipulation. I don't know what it is.

And of course, it's still going on today. In church culture, yes. But also in relationships where controlling men pervert, pervert the truth, hiding control under the guise of spiritual leadership. Another truth from these chapters in Galatians, is we've got to seek God's approval. Paul puts it very bluntly in verse 10. If we're still trying to please people, we can't be a servant of Christ. Wow, that sounds really harsh, but we either have the capacity... we all have the capacity to please God, but sometimes we morphed over into this other land. That's dangerous pleasing people. In chapter two, verse four, Paul tells us don't give in to false brothers. And he warns us that Some so called believers, false ones who were secretly brought in, sneaked in to spy and take away the freedom that believers have in Christ. To make us slaves. And again, I think this is still happening today, no doubt, but I love what he said next. He said, We didn't get into them for one moment.

Then he goes on in verse six to say, don't be impressed by those that seem to be important because God has no favorites. And when others are wrong, we're supposed to oppose them face to face. Remember when Paul said that when Peter came to Antioch he opposed him face to face in front of everyone for what he did was wrong, and he confronted him in order that others wouldn't be led astray by his hypocrisy. And then he said, Don't be afraid of others who oppose you. And that's why Paul confronted Peter because Peter was afraid of criticism.

I think that's our human nature at times, but we've got to set that aside because otherwise we're going to lead other people astray. And then in chapter three, Paul warns us Do not be bewitched. I looked this word up, and well, first, he says, How foolish can you be? After beginning with the spirit are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? And here's how we can bewitched. It can happen one of two ways, either by someone maligning us with slander or sarcasm, or by someone bringing evil upon us by charming us or feigning praise. You know, slander is easy to recognize, right. But charm feels good, and it often motivates us to comply in order that we get more praise, right.

I want to encourage you to read all three of these first chapters in Galatians. Because even though Paul is discussing ministry truth, I want to challenge you to consider how these principles might apply to your own ministry. Perhaps your ministry is motherhood. Perhaps your ministry is in the marketplace, showing Christ to your co-workers, and your clients or perhaps your ministry is being a good wife. I think these principles that Paul talks about offer tremendous wisdom on how to maintain our self-respect in the face of opposition. People pleasing and the fear of rejection. I mean, seriously, it can happen in any relationship. Even a mother can fear rejection from her young children. So let me let me just play this out for you.

Let's say what if a mother feared her toddler’s temper tantrum. So she decided not to reprimand or discipline him for biting his brother. Her passive approach would accomplish something. It would avoid a temper tantrum, right. But it would also enable her son's destructive behavior. And if she continued to ignore his behavior, he probably turn out to be a bully.

But a wise mother understands that a confrontation may result in a temper tantrum, but because she values her son as more important than herself, she is willing to endure the conflict in order to shape her son's character. She knows that in the end, confrontation, will not only be good for him, but it also will preserve harmony in the family with his brother, and that in turn will help him in future relationships.

But here's the thing. Besides being afraid of rejection or being conflict averse there are other reasons why we engage in this people pleasing practice. Some of us don't want to disappoint others. Some of us don't want to hurt other people's feelings. For example, let's say a boss wants everyone to like her and she's afraid of hurting her subordinates feelings. So instead of pointing out their accounting errors on the annual report, she just fixes everything herself. And then when it comes to annual performance review, she fails to note any areas of improvement because she wants everyone to like her.

You know her subordinates may love working for her, but will they be challenged and adequately prepared for future advancement? Probably not right. So what is her motive in this case? Is it her own selfish ambition to be liked? Is it her selfish ambition of having a great reputation of being easy to work with? Or maybe it's her selfish ambition to avoid the discomfort of hurting anyone's feelings and therefore keeping her own self-worth on a pedestal?

So ask yourself. Do her actions count as more significant? Do her actions count others as more significant than herself? Or does her neglect to address their errors benefit their career progress or hinder it? Does she value does she value more herself or her subordinates?

So let's play this out in a different scenario that I think will make more sense to all of you personally. Let's say that your husband is critical of your every move and you just keep quiet because you don't want to make him angry. You just tiptoe you walk on eggshells. You just think you can handle it. You preserve the temporary peace but ultimately down the road, how are you going to feel? You're probably going to continue to get frustrated and embittered. And when his treatment continues because you've been afraid to confront it, you might find your anger growing and mounting until you just finally explode right?

Or maybe you just internalize everything and you start to get depressed and just you feel like a failure and your failure to address this situation continues to enable his destructive behaviors but you know, for some reason you just think I can handle it. I can deal with it. It'll get better or whatever lie you tell yourself to avoid the conflict. But instead his criticism increases. Maybe he hurls insults or sarcastic comments or maybe he gives you the silent treatment. Whatever the case, temporary peace has a price and failure to confront or address the situation, whether, like I mentioned earlier, whether verbally or confronting the situation by just changing your behavior, only delays the inevitable and causes the pressure to mount. It's like It's like constantly paying your credit card late. You avoid the responsibility of paying for what you purchase because you'd rather spend the money elsewhere. But temporary satisfaction is expensive. And eventually all those late payments add up and your account might be closed or worse yet, and in bankruptcy.

Change Your Mindset

Change Your Life

Change Your Mindset

Change Your Life



Change Your Mindset
Change Your Life