This week we closed out our series on relationships called Battlefield, and we talked about how we can't control conflict but we can control ourselves.
A couple of years ago, Anderson Cooper was on a rooftop in a country that was in the middle of a war. Conflict was literally swirling around him. Sometimes conflict in our lives feels like that, like we are in the middle of a battle. Sometimes, fighting around us is often more stressful than fights we're directly involved in because we have no control. Most of us tend to respond to conflicts we can't control in two ways.
1. We try to fix it.
2. We try to flee it.
The problem with these two approaches is that they don't typically relieve the conflict.
Jesus knew that after His death and resurrection, His friends were going to be caught in the middle of a battle they couldn't even imagine. When there's conflict swirling around us and we're stressed or afraid, we don't have to search for peace, He's already given it to us. Jesus promises that His Spirit can step in and quiet the chaos in us, no matter what's going on around us.
You can choose to find peace in the fact that God has promised to be with you through anything-through any battlefield. Jesus wanted His friends to be at peace, and He offers that same peace to you. So, how do we really and truly reach for the peace of Jesus when there's conflict in our lives?
1. Pray for peace
2. Take a break
Whether you're involved or not, whether the conflict is your fault or not, you always have a choice in how you respond. You can choose to fight for someone. Fight for a relationship. Fight for peace.
You can't control conflict, but you can control yourself.
I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. - John 14:27 NLT
Continue the Conversation: Questions for Family Discussion at Home
- What are your friends and family most likely to fight about?
- Are you more likely to try to fix conflict that has nothing to do with you or run away from it? Why?
- Why is focusing on your response better than focusing on the conflict?
- What's one way you can remind yourself to pray for peace when you're surrounded by conflict?