Naturally, relationships play a huge factor in our lives. In fact, we encounter them in EVERY aspect of our lives on different levels… Whether they are business relationships, family relationships, friendships or romantic relationships we need relationships to live and flourish! They are a necessity to our livelihood but navigating our way through them is not always smooth. No matter the relationship, since no two people are alike, conflicts and disagreements are bound to happen. The challenge however is to keep and protect your inner peace in your day to day relationships.
Conflicts are an inevitable and often times uncomfortable part of life but can be a useful part of your own personal growth if handled correctly. Your reaction to things that make you uncomfortable are often very telling of who you really are and what you carry inside of you. Are you a carrier of past hurts, anger, negative outlooks or are you a carrier and promoter of peace?
Moreover, how do you protect your peace in your relationships with others?
1.Be Clear~What are your expectations, boundaries, likes and dislikes? What are theirs? Be clear early on to avoid ambiguity and room for assumptions.
2. Be Considerate~Sow respect and honor and you will reap them as well. Have patience. Learn to listen…Allow them to finish talking.
3.Be Flexible~Things most definitely won’t always go YOUR way. Identify areas where you can compromise. Be flexible with others so they also be flexible with you.
4.Be Confronting~Don’t run from issues. They will eventually find you sooner than later and at the times you don’t want them to. Remember to confront without offending. When your emotions are high it is probably not the best time to tackle an issue. Get some air. Cool down. Confrontation has been given a negative connotation but it can actually be a bridge to unity if done effectively. On the contrary, suppressing hurt, anger and pain can be most detrimental to your over all well being as well as an obstacle to personal growth and a silent killer of your personal relationships.
5.Be forgiving~This is one of the most difficult but necessary things to do. Unforgiveness always comes with a lot of heavy baggage. It takes up too much space in your life. Let it go… Let your pain be purposeful. Ask yourself what you can learn from the painful experience? How has it made you stronger? Remember it’s about perspective.
In Romans 12:18 it says,
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”
At first glance, this seems impossible…but your inner peace does not depend on the other person. It depends on YOU. You are the captain of your emotions. You cannot control the waves but you can steer your ship. Take charge.
Protecting your peace is a continuous discipline. It takes effort and is not always easy but remember, you are not alone. God, our source of peace, is with you every step of the way. If you seek Him daily, He will give you the wisdom, understanding, patience and guidance to help you in your relationships.
“…May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” 2 Thessalonians 3:16.