October 16, 2018

Unhealthy Ways to Manage Relational Conflict

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 16, 2018

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Romans 12:14

There comes a time in every relationship when conflict occurs. Sometimes it’s been brewing for a while, then erupts. Other times, it comes out of nowhere. When conflict happens, you can either solve conflict God’s way, or you can mismanage the conflict and destroy relational intimacy.

Here’s how to ruin your relationships:

Return offense for offense. When the other person becomes offended by something you did, said, or didn’t do, a natural response is to return offense for offense rather than respond in humility. When this happens, you can allow the offense you feel to determine how you respond. But this never leads to conflict resolution.  Choose humility and grace instead.

Lash out with angry, cutting, or insulting words. It’s natural when we’re angry to want to let someone “have it.” You may be tempted to bring up offenses from the past, use passive-aggressive language, shame the other person, cut-down their character, or try to manipulate them to get what you want. But these tactics also never lead to conflict resolution. They will only destroy the relationship.   

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing”(1 Peter 3:9).

Run away. Some people enjoy sparring; others loathe conflict and even find it terrifying. For this reason, some folks want to “run away” from conflict by shutting down and refusing to talk it out. Or, they may even go to an extreme and end the relationship or cut the other person off without seeking to solve the conflict. This also won’t lead to the intimacy you desire.

Hold a grudge. Some folks may say they accept an apology, but in reality, they are still holding a grudge. If you keep rehearsing what the other person did to you, call your friends over and over and repeat what happened, even though the conflict has been long over, while saying you are “fine” to the person with whom you are having the conflict, this will also ruin your relationship. To conduct relationships in a two-faced or duplicitous way never leads to peace. To truly forgive, process through your pain, seek resolution with the other person, but don’t nurse a grudge.

To handle conflict God’s way and not cooperate with the devil’s agenda for your relationships takes courage, humility, love and confidence that God sees and knows and that He will help you do what is right. Choose to handle conflict in a holy way, even if the other person doesn’t. You’ll be glad you did.


Lord, when conflict happens in my life, please give me the wisdom to handle it your way and not to cooperate with the devil’s plans. Amen.


Take a look at your relational patterns. Do you practice any of the tactics in today’s devotional? If so, speak with the Lord about it, confess your sin, and ask Him to give you the self-control and courage you need to handle conflict His way.

Related Reading

1 Thessalonians 5:15; Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-29

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To truly forgive, process through your pain, seek resolution with the other person, but don’t nurse a grudge. #WisdomHunters #relationships

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