A few weeks ago I signed up for a trial sample of a skin care product that promised miracles. I would only be charged shipping. I very seldom ever do this as I believe most things that sound too good to be true probably are! They gave me 10 days trial or they would charge a monthly subscription. The product arrived and I began using it. A week passed by and I called to cancel the subscription. A friendly lady named Janna took care of it so I wrote the cancellation number and it was done. However, last week I received an email indicating I would be charged $92.97! I promptly called the number in order to solve the obvious problem. I was told that I had not called the correct number so the product had not been cancelled to which I requested she do that then. I gave her all the information I had from the previous call and she still maintained I had not done what I said I had done. My frustration grew as the conversation went on. In an agitated tone I asked to speak with someone else and she put me on hold. My problem had turned into a conflict. Ugh!
There is a difference between a problem and a conflict. I define problems as situational and conflicts as personal. There is a moment in time when a problem crosses the line to conflict; it goes from stress to distress. Problems can be solved in relationships when there is good faith that each party is reasonable and trustworthy. However, when good faith turns into doubting whether we can trust each other and we’re defending ourselves, it can quickly become a conflict.
We all have problems because Jesus said so (John 16:33). Not all of us have conflicts. Knowing the difference is key to our spiritual walk. Both require Spirit-led responses instead of self-motivated reactions.
Sunday, May 15, 12:30-2:00 pm, I will be offering a workshop on this very vital topic. It goes with our Sunday theme of Fearless Families as it will inform us on how to be families who: “. . . though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does” (2 Cor. 10:3). It goes without saying, this topic can be useful in all our relationships so that we live as lights in this world. Only those who have relationships are invited.