another tale of a hurting youth worker

I recently met with a hurting youth worker. While the situation was a little unusual, the result was common: conflict. After reflecting on our conversation, I articulated the following lessons in my journal so I don’t forget them the next I need to restore a relationship.

conflict is best resolved when you…

…go to a friend…
Get some support. You need prayer, encouragement, and probably a fresh perspective. The goal here isn’t to gossip, but to test your feelings to see if you are (reasonably) sane.

…go direct…
Don’t hide from it or wait for things to blow over. I understand that most people dread conflict more than a trip to the dentist. Hiding and waiting will only make the problem worse. Aren’t things difficult enough already?

…go face to face…
Don’t rely on another person to serve as a go between. Even if this “middleman” is a wise, compassionate, trusted, proven counselor/mentor, go face to face because you don’t want the communication to get lost in translation. Besides, in most cases, it’s nearly impossible for the person in the middle to be completely objective.

…go away…
If things don’t get better at some point, you gotta give up. Reconciliation takes two people. It’s not possible to force another person to restore a broken trust.

…go to your knees…
I’m going to assume you’ll be praying about a conflict as you head into it. The reason why I make it last on this list is because long after this conflict is dealt with, it needs to be on your prayer horizon. If it’s not, bitterness and resentment can spring back up like a nasty weed.

This definitely isn’t a definitive list! Based on your experience in restoring a broken relationship, what would you add?

Bible Study Discussion Questions
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

Is it really possible to live at peace with everyone? Why do you think Paul would set the standard so high?
How can you know when you’ve reached your limit for resolving a conflict? What could it look like for you to do everything possible, to make every effort?
In your opinion, what is the connection between peace and holiness? What does it look like to be holy in the context of a relationship that needs healing and restoration?

What do you have to add?