People cause it.
Feelings get hurt from it.
Relationships can die from it.
No one can escape it.
We all wish we could resolve it better than we do.
It is called conflict.
The first item you need to navigate any conflict…even if it is related to social media is a bible.
Even if the conflict is with Facebook.
He said this. She said that.
Get your Bible.
He did this. She did that.
Read your bible.
They did it all.
Apply what you’ve read to your bible.
Welcome to Part 3 in the Social Media Shutdown series, and this post is probably more real than the others. Obviously, my great social media shutdown occurred because I had a conflict with Facebook. During all of that, I happened to get in a disagreement with a close friend, and while on the surface both of those events seemed unrelated to each other, I noticed that they were actually very similar.
In both situations, I was in conflict with entities I care about greatly. Whether or not it was a person or a company didn’t matter. The other party thought I did something wrong, I thought the misunderstanding was unfair, and there were tears shed as a result of it.
I needed a bible, and I needed something more. I needed encouragement. I needed devotions. And I most definitely need clarity on the Word. Enter the (in)courage Devotional Bible (CSB Version).
After seeking wise counsel on both issues, I decided to pray a bit more. When I prayed, I realized that I probably needed to focus on the conflict itself, and now how it made me feel. And that my friends, is exactly when I started to learn what God had in store for me despite the tears, the drama, and the frustration.
And in this Bible, I found specific verses and devotions listed in the index that related to the topics of Beautiful Brokenness, Better Together, Daily Grace, Friendship on Purpose, and Hope in the Hand. Those, my friends, were just a few topics that related to my situation, and they all caused me to take a deep look within.
I’m not a therapist or a certified mediator, or even a bible scholar, but I talk to plenty of them a lot and I read the Bible daily. The CSB version is written as literal as possibly without sacrificing clarity. Hello everyday drama…this Bible can help! After reading what I needed to read and studying what I needed to study, here’s what what I learned about conflict resolution and Facebook.
- The first thing to ask yourself is this: What are my future plans for this relationship? This determines how the conflict gets resolved. When it’s a person, before you throw up the deuces to someone you care about, ask this question of yourself and give yourself ample time to respond. You may want to remember if they know all of the secrets and skeletons of your life. If they were good enough to be involved in the sharing of said secrets, then chances are they are good enough to work out a disagreement.
- When emotions are high, you might as well be arguing with a bot. In the case of Facebook, I learned that I definitely was arguing with a bot. Bots have programmed, systemic responses based on key words. If you think about it, when we listen to respond to someone instead of listening to understand, you are essentially acting like a bot.
- If one thing created all kinds of emotional upheaval for you, this conflict probably just isn’t about that one thing. Search your heart and the heart of the other person to figure out what it is.
- Communication comes in a variety of ways…depending on your age and your thoughts about technology, you may or may not like this…however it is a fact. Accept all forms of communication during conflict as valid. Text messages, inbox messages, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations all work if they are leading to progress.
- Ask God to intercede, direct and reveal important things during the seemingly quiet times of the conflict. God is always working behind the scenes. He can and sometimes will reveal those things to if we ask.
- Seek wise counsel; remember though that the ultimate goal of wise counsel is to find a resolution; not to keep a power struggle going. The key word here is wise, y’all. WISE.
- Recognize that what you think and what you feel will probably not give you a solution to the conflict. Honestly, what you think and feel will keep the conflict going. Remember the phrase, “What would Jesus do?”
- Tell your side of the story without projecting, cussing, bringing up the past, or hurling insults. If you can’t do that, SAY NOTHING. (Depending on the circumstance, you may need to tell the other person you need some time.)
- Commit to peace-making, not peace-faking. Y’all, this is a tough one. We can’t pretend to resolve an issue and secretly harbor ill feelings towards the other person or entity. When it came to Facebook, I had to move on so I could continue to grow in the marketing field and do my job at the church.
- Grace abounds. Grace is an attribute of God. We receive His grace in spite of the things we do in our humanness. Remember that.
- Figure out what you did wrong. On Facebook, my profile name wasn’t the same as my legal name. I repeatedly tested the authority of the business by disputing their guidelines and rules. I like to think I was a revolutionary, but in all reality, my pride didn’t want Facebook to win that battle.
- The resolution to the conflict will give God glory. If it doesn’t, try again. God does not want us entangled in conflict forever. He wants us to learn, grow, apologize, and use what we’ve learned to make the world a better place. In this instance, my world included the digital world and my physical world.
- You will find encouragement, confirmation, and sometimes direction through some of the most unbelievable places. Especially, in the comfort of our Bibles.
The beauty of things like conflict is that they first and foremost are a demonstration of God’s grace and His work in our lives. Even when we cry, and especially when we are hurt. For more information about the (in)courage bible, click here.