There are moments where my children have disagreements with their fellow siblings leaving one a bit more upset in their feelings.The other sibling is left feeling awkward in wanting to address the issue in making peace so things can go back to their playful norm. My oldest two children are at the age where they openly share with me the challenges of conflicts that they’ve had with friends and peers at school in seeking advice on how to best handle the situation. Most people aren’t fans of wanting friction in their lives with conflict, but there’s wisdom we can learn from studying God’s word to properly address conflict in discussing grievances. We can learn as believers in Christ to have grace in grievances in building more bridges with others in tackling conflict with love than creating more collateral damage in burning bridges down.
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3 :13
The Elephant In The Room
There are two detrimental ways that many of us choose in handling grievances that I had to learn myself to grow from in not fearing conflict. We sometimes feel that if we sweep little annoyances under the rug that they will magically go away, that the other person will get the hint that their behavior has offended us, or fear that if we speak up it will cause more friction in possibly making things worse. The down side in not addressing the elephant in the room of a valid grievance is that it never really goes away in just festering in our spirits that opens the door to resentment poisoning us from the inside. The second detrimental way in handling grievances is snapping in not being wise with your tongue or actions in being explosive which makes the original grievance grow from being a mere elephant in the room into now an elephant roaring louder with you being at fault in pulling the tail!
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:“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.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12 18-21
When All Else Fails
I oftentimes intervene after seeing one of my kiddos in dire distress in needing some advice in handling grievances in wanting to have peace with those they care for. I reach back to wisdom from situations I mishandled in conflict, and I think about those who mishandled me in grievances in offering advice from lessons learned in growing in my faith. It’s important for us to properly address grievances with grace in understanding that Christ gives us grace everyday in our faults, shortcomings, and mistakes. Christ offers us forgiveness through salvation in allowing us to come to his throne of mercy in laying out what we need to have addressed inside and out with a listening ear, compassion, and love. I tend to strive for peace as I’ve grown older in not wanting to walk on eggshells around family members, friends, colleagues, and others in understanding how to properly address conflict in not being superficial in being on the surface in having tough discussions in of grievances especially if I care about the person enough in the relationship that brings value in my life. We can’t take our words back after we’ve said them verbally or in writing which can leave a lasting impact of changing the dynamics of a marriage, friendship, or connection. Our actions leave deep impressions for the future in which we can’t take back with a mere “sorry” in hurting others deeply from action from emotions in being in our feelings. When you feel like all else fails in not knowing how to handle grievances choose grace in studying the word of God in leading the way as Christ did with us all in choosing love.
Grace In Grievances With Dear Family & Friends