Conflict Resolution and Christians At Work
January 29, 2007 • By Jamie Santana
Peaceworks Mediation / Waukesha
Does the word conflict stir up negative thoughts for you? Does conflict cause you to withdraw? To attack? To panic? Each of us responds differently to conflict. Mark Twain once wrote, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” The same is true for how we handle conflict in the workplace. The world is wondering if Christians are worth their weight in gold – do we look any different, do we talk any differently, do we act any differently? Unfortunately, the answer is often a resounding NO! How will the world be attracted to Christ if his followers leave a bitter taste with regards to how they handle conflict, not to mention people? Scripture says that we are to live at peace with everyone, in so far as it depends on us. It also says that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation through Christ, because he reconciled us to himself on the cross! What a responsibility and what an opportunity to leave a revolutionary mark in our places of work. If we believe that all our times and days are ordained by God, than so is our employment situation, our boss and our co-workers. Conflict can provide incredible opportunities to breathe grace and forgiveness into the world, one person at a time. It can also evoke needed changes in our employment situations as we wisely confront the difficult realities conflict may expose.
God has much to say concerning how we are to conduct ourselves in conflicted situations and how we are to be different. Scripture goes so far as to calls us “aliens” in the world in which we live. Christians At Work recognizes the great need we as believers have to be untaught the world’s ways of “resolving” conflict and to learn for the first time, or over again, God’s ways. God’s ways are certainly not our ways and our intuitive responses to conflict are too often counterproductive and incomplete. Through training in how to handle conflict from a biblical worldview, we can be more fully equipped to live out the Great Commission, rather than be a hindrance to this precious and temporary task with which we have been entrusted. In heaven our opportunities to evangelize the world will be long gone. Let us grow together and encourage one another as we invest in the lives of our co-workers, contractors, bosses, etc… through becoming peacemakers, an active and ongoing task that requires diligence, humility and a renewing of our minds through the relevant word of God.
Through the Marketplace Training Center, Christians At Work intends to offer training for both employees and employers in order to equip them to manage conflict in ways that are pleasing to God. God is not ultimately looking for measurable results, but he is looking for faithful obedience. Conflict is an inevitable reality in our world today, but through training and practice we can work to maximize the opportunities it provides to glorify God and serve others.