By: Jessie Deloe
Because we’re all human, we make mistakes and sometimes offend someone. When that happens, we may find that “It is harder to win back the friendship of an offended brother than to capture a fortified city. His anger shuts you out like iron bars.” (The Living Bible, Prov. 18:19)
On the other hand, perhaps you’re the one who’s been offended. If that has been your experience, and reconciliation seems impossible, what can you do? In either case, here are some suggestions on how to handle uncomfortable conflicts.
Accept yourself. Be grateful for the way God made you and recognize that you’re not yet a “finished product.” Recognize the great variety in God’s design of people. He has created each one with a unique purpose.
Think about others, instead of yourself. You are not the center of the universe.
Try to look at life from the point of view of others. They may not be right, but you’ll be better able to accept them when you understand their perspective.
Focus on helping to meet the needs of others. Serving others is one of life’s highest privileges.
Regard every acquaintance as an opportunity to serve. Don’t wonder what others think of you, but what you could give to them.
Repair broken friendships by asking for forgiveness, showing appreciation for the character qualities of the other person, and cooperating in mutual endeavor.
If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, first go and be reconciled to him or her; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)