A debut manual shows Christians how to handle conflicts.
In the heat of any conflict, writes Willis, it’s difficult to recall the turn-the-other-cheek strictures of Christianity. He then asks the larger question: “Why does it matter that a Christ follower engages in conflict differently than anyone else?” And he answers his own query in the most direct way possible: “There’s only one good answer to that question: The witness of Jesus Christ is at stake.” Conflict is unavoidable in life, and the author breaks down the problem into three stages (“If you’re breathing,” he assures his readers, “you’re in one or more of the stages”): heading into a conflict, embroiled in it, “or coming out of it.” Willis identifies several ways to emphasize communication in tense situations: recognizing that conflict is inevitable and that a key to resolving it is to ask fundamental questions, like “Why is this conflict necessary and how can you communicate it in a way that empowers instead of demeans?” The author urges his readers to find “impact points” in any conflict, take a step back to see the big picture, and, of course, to seek help: “Stop to pray a prayer as simple as ‘God, help me!’ and He will. Our difficulty comes when we refuse to pause and wait for His response.” Willis deftly fleshes out these strictures with vivid illustrations from his own life and from Gospel stories, reminding his Christian readers that “all of mankind has been born into this decaying world, and we are all in need of rescue.” The author stresses that the motivation for Christians to perfect their resolution skills is to become closer to Jesus (Learning “who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you”). But the nuts-and-bolts, step-by-step advice he dispenses about coping with conflict (in ways that help everybody rather than one victor) would be valuable to readers of all faiths as well as skeptics.
A worthy, Christian-centric guide to managing conflict and turning it into a positive experience.