Lesson 103: Give and Take

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Last week, we talked about how important commitment is in any area of life. This week, we will look at handling conflict via the “Give and Take’ method. This is a great view to have when you have difficulties with someone. Most of us (myself included) have a hard time letting someone else have what they want when we desire something different. However, this is an important “skill” to be learned that applies to all areas of life.

 

Point #1:

When involved in conflict with others, many people simply just seek to get what they want. They do whatever they can, no matter the cost, to get what they desire. This is an awful mistake.
We have to realize that our actions have consequences not only for us, but for those around us as well. Life would be so much more simple for everyone (and us) if a person’s actions only affected that person. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. What we do, and what others do, affect us and those around us. For example, let’s say that you just tried to steal something from a store. It can be anything, big or small. For the sake of the argument, we’ll pretend it’s candy.
You try to steal this candy, but you get caught. The people at the store catch you, the burly security guard walks over, and you hand over the stolen “goods.” Who is affected in this example? Obviously, you were, the store’s workers were, and the people with you were as well.
My point with all of that is that our selfish tendencies affect other people. In some cases, it keeps them from receiving something they needed. In other cases, it affects your relationship with that person. You could even, by your selfishness, lead them into sin by provoking them to do something. If we approach conflict with a “finders keepers” attitude, we can limit others’ productivity for the kingdom of Christ, will limit our productivity for the kingdom, and affect our relationships with God and others.

 

Point #2:

“Give and take” means to put everything in perspective and knowing when to back off. There are things that are important, and then there are the things that you can “give.” It’s all about analyzing the situation and taking it from there.
Sometimes, most of the time in fact, getting what you want is not as important as the big picture. The big picture is that we are followers of Christ. Our mission is to spread the kingdom and draw closer to Him. If we allow a conflict to distract us, then we need to decide if it is something really worth arguing about. Most of the time, I’ve found that “giving way” to the other person still works out great for me. Even though I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, I still was able to reach a conclusion that ended the conflict. And to make it better, it still works for me.

 

Point #3:

By exercising the “give and take” method of conflict resolution, you can avoid the dividing issues we covered earlier in the series. How you handle conflict can make or break relationships, partnerships, and more. Is it really worth it? From my experience, I’ve noticed that it’s always helpful for me to take a step back from the situation and look at it from a “big picture” perspective. I have never found that the thing that is coming between me and someone else is worth losing them over.
So many people and organizations are split in half from unresolved conflict or ongoing conflict. It’s so sad to see that in many cases, this is completely avoidable. And most of the time, it involves us taking a step of maturity, recognizing what the issue is worth, and giving away your selfish desires to resolve the situation.
Next time you’re in a conflict with someone, look at the issue and decide if it is worth sinning over, losing that relationship over, or the distraction it can cause. Don’t get me wrong- there are core things that have to be addressed. And in some cases, there is no resolution.
But for the most part, conflict is worth not getting your way so that all can be resolved.

 

Examples:

Wow. Where do I even start on this one? This is the most recurring issue that we’ve dealt with as Collin, Wyatt, and I have worked together. And that’s ok because whenever you work with someone, there are always going to be differences of opinion.
Whenever we’ve started something, there’s always been the question of who does what. There are always initial tasks that no one really wants to do because either they usually take a lot of time, or they are really dull things to do. So here’s usually what happens: we will spend about an hour or so (not kidding) going back and forth about who is going to do what and when it’s “due” by. We just hammer it out. And during that conversation, we all voice our opinions about what we want to do. It is a clinic on give and take because throughout the course of the discussion, we all have to give up certain things and take on other tasks. And by the end of the “meeting,” all is resolved!

 

Challenge:

This week, I guarantee that you will be in conflict with someone. Guarantee it. The good thing is that all you have to do is let them “have their way.” If, for example, you’re fighting over getting to do something, let the other person do it. The theme verse for our blog says that we have been crucified with Christ. Put off the old man! Be selfless.

 

In Christ,

Christopher

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