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“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:18 CSB

The holiday’s bring conflict.  Conflict within families, conflict within marriages, conflict within friendships, even conflict within ourselves.  People work longer hours to pay for presents. Days are longer because of Christmas events. Kids are in school plays and church performances which require extra practices. Homework gets done later and later.  God help you if you’re in retail working the holiday rush. People are rude, arrogant and thoughtless. Christmas Shoppers can be nasty, people have died in Black Friday rushes. Conflict abounds in today’s world, even more so during the holidays.

For that reason, we’re going to spend the next week looking at how to handle conflict in our lives, not only during the holidays, but all year long.  We are going to work to find rest from conflict, which equals peace in our lives. One way is by being proactive to potential conflicts. For instance, I play in a couple of tennis leagues.  I’ve played in these leagues for years. I’ve known the majority of players for years. Therefore, when I take the court on any given Tuesday, I can anticipate how the match will go because I know the players so well.  I also know who is most likely to cause conflict on the court. One way I anticipate for the conflict is by knowing who I will be playing with before I walk on the court. Then I can mentally prepare myself for the probable conflict that will happen.

For instance, there are women in our group who are known for making bad line calls, calling a ball out when it is in.  When people make bad line calls, conflict happens. Sometimes the conflict is very uncomfortable.  Therefore, if I know in advance I’m playing with someone known for bad line calls, I create a game plan to deal with the situation.  There are two possible scenarios, I’m either going to play with her or against her. If I play with her, I prepare mentally to overrule bad calls. If I play against her, I  decide beforehand not to argue. I have learned from my years playing tennis, it is not worth arguing over a line call. We’re going to apply the same process to the holidays. We’re going to prepare in advance for potential conflicts.

Begin praying about what possible conflicts could arise in the next month because of the holidays. Who are the players in your world that are known for causing conflict? Begin praying about ways to diffuse the conflict in advance.  Think about possible scenarios, what are ways to avoid unnecessary conflict? Talk to trusted friends about what to do. When we do these things, we’ll find rest from conflict.

Today I’m finding rest from conflict.  How can you find rest today? Comment below.

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