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A Sunday Thought

Flight or Fight

Flight or Fight

What is your natural response to conflicts and disagreement? Fight or Flight?

My stomach in knots, my throat tightened, and holding back tears… you might think that I was getting sick. Not so. In my mind, it was something worse. It was a confrontation. My body was reacting to the emotional turmoil going on in my head. The conflict had escalated to the point where I wasn’t sleeping at night, I had a headache and to be honest with you, I was grouchy.

What should I do? Fight or Flight?

Those of us who are fighters get really defensive. We go on the offense against the other person and we often cause the disagreements to escalate into a huge fight. Those of us that are flee-ers verbally ignore the issue because we hate conflict, and run off to let our problems fester in our minds and hearts, often leading to much more anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.

What do you do? Fight or Flight?

There is another way to deal with these types of situations. This is what I am personally working on. It is not our human nature. We have a super power that will help us, through the power and love of God we can change the way we deal with conflict and move toward peace.

Jesus prioritized unity among his people.

Neither pray I for these alone, but them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17: 20-23

This is Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. He focuses on oneness and asked God that his followers be one three time. He also asked twice that such unity results in the world’s recognition that Jesus was sent by God. You see, when we are one, we recognize that it comes from above and we are drawn to follow him and his example.

But….

You know there is a but here…

We have family and/or friend experiences, however, that don’t look like this picture. Why? Because we either fight or flight. We tend to have permanent anger, unforgiveness and bitter hearts toward one another. Let’s read these verses again:

Neither pray I for these alone, but them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17: 20-23

Jesus’s prayer points us in the right direction. The way that we react to conflict, I believe, bears witness to our faith.

Are you a fighter? I am sometimes and this is what I am working on when I want to fight:

Pray and think before I speak.

Remove myself from the situation if possible.

Carefully choose my words so that the conversation changes direction.

I try unstand my feelings by digging deeper into the question, “Why am I having these feelings/What is fueling them.” Then explain them in a non-attacking way.

Confront in a loving and honest way.

Are you a flee-er? I am sometimes. I run and hide. This is what I am working on when I want to run, I mean flee:

Speak the truth in love and try to get my feelings and my issues on the table.

Discus the issues, instead of holding them in.

Whether a fighter, flee-er or both, like me, I know that we must ask God for the grace to speak the truth in love, choose forgiveness, and then move toward peace and love with those whom we have conflicts. This may include friends, spouses, and family members.

I would like to seek God more about these conflicts that cause me to flight or fight. I know that I often ignore conflicts or ignore the problems, I put them on the back burner hoping that they will disappear on their own, but they never do. They get bigger and then they boil over. My prayer this week is this:

Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path.

My heart is troubled, but I will strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.

Amen!

Happy Monday to you all.

Are you a fighter or a flee-er? Do you have any advice how to deal with conflicts?

 

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