Conflict. Simple as that. We all love conflict. What has given conflict a bad rap is the amount of disrespect that tends to come with it.
My daughter Savannah took some sports classes in college and one of her assignments was to keep up with what was being talked about.
So she became an avid watcher of First Take. Two guys vehemently disagreeing, but at the same time, a total absence of disrespect. That is the secret sauce. And she absolutely loved the show.
The Bible offers this healthy, practical advice; Show proper respect to all people. 1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)
When you have conflict with disrespect you have drama. And while drama may be popular on TV, it doesn’t play well in real life.
So the next time you find yourself in the middle of a conflict acknowledge the value of the other person and act accordingly.
Actually you will enjoy it more. Conflict without disrespect. Try it!
Being human means you know all about slander and false accusations. Kids do it, teens do it, and even adults do it. And yes, it hurts despite the famous words, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Our three natural responses include:
1. Accuse back.
2. Blow up and loudly protest.
3. Attempt to vindicate ourselves.
For some reason, those just don’t seem to do the job. So what do we do?
The seventh Psalm provides some insight. David, the king of Israel, has been the recipient of slander and false accusations. And it hurt. So what does he do? Let’s break it down into three parts.
1. He turned to God. Growing up we sang a song with the words “take it to the Lord in prayer.” So easy, yet not always our first choice.
Psalm 7:1 (ESV) O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,..
2. He told God how he felt. David knew in his heart that he was not guilty of the accusations. Yes, God already knows, but it will help you immensely and will also reinforce to you the lack of validity in the false accusations. One of the results will be less emotional hurt. That’s what prayer does. It allows God to bear some of your pain.
Psalm 7:3-4 (ESV) O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my friend with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
3. Finally, David trusted God. There was really nothing he could do, but leave it in God’s hands.
If you will do all three, you’ll feel better. I love the way David finished.
Psalm 7:17 (ESV) I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
He stressed getting on the job early and going over what had to be done for the day. The reasoning was simple. If the crew and I showed up right at starting time, the crew would stand around while I got my game plan together. That equals wasted time and wasted money on wages.
Then when the day was over hang around a little. Reflect, walk around, and survey what needs to be done the following day. In all honesty I tended to continue to think about work long after I had left the job.
In construction it’s so common for the guys to pull up right at starting time. In their minds they should get paid to get their tools out of their cars, take five minutes to get on the building, and have a few minutes of conversation. Then when quitting time came they flew off the building as if they were going to a fire. Go figure. If they were asked to work five minutes extra they balked.
Which simply means that if you arrive first, or at least early, and leave last, or at least hang around a few minutes, you will set yourself apart from the crowd.
To this day it’s almost impossible for me not to arrive first and leave last. For years it was ingrained into me, and I’m thankful that today it remains a core value.
Let me illustrate from football, especially since the Super Bowl is on everyone’s mind. In a recent post I referred to the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. He has gone from backup to a sensational starter.
In midseason Coach Harbaugh made a change. He benched the starting quarterback and put in Kaepernick.
And it was not because Alex Smith was doing a poor job. Of course, all kinds of discussions abounded on all the sports networks. Was it the right move or not?
Like any coach, Harbaugh is relentless about upgrading the team, even when the team is winning.
So why the switch? Winning the division is one thing, winning the conference championship is another, but the Super Bowl is the ultimate win.
Here is the reason Harbaugh made the change. He knew that nothing matters more than getting the right player on the field and in the right position.
Jack Welch in his book Winning says he looked for three things in people he wanted to hire.
1. Integrity – truthful, dependable, authentic, and able to admit mistakes. Kaepernick does well here.
2. Intelligence – for Kaepernick he must be able to read defenses, understand complex looks on the defense, be able to audible and call the right play, and keep on learning.
3. Maturity – think about it. He is on national TV, you will get behind at times in a game, there will be lots of stress, mistakes will be made, interceptions will be thrown, etc.
Soon after the change had been made the 49ers started the game with the ball, but Kaepernick threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. So right off the bat he throws a pick and the other team takes the lead. How did he respond? With integrity, he admitted his mistake. With intelligence, he didn’t throw a pick after that one. Maturity, he kept his head in the game and led the team on to a victory.
While this in no way indicates that the 49ers are a one man team, but it does illustrate the necessity of getting the right players onto the field if winning is the objective.