How To Simplify Your Life – Part 6


Psalms 119:130 NKJV The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The solution to a complicated life is to be a better manage your life.

The resources of our lives can be categorized in three general areas:

  1. Time Management
  2. Resource Management
  3. Relationship Management

Relationship Management (cont.)

There are three indicators that there is a relationship problem:

✓ Conflict

✓ Schism

✓ Division

We have a responsibility to do everything we can correct or restore those relationships (however, sometimes this is not possible because of the will of the other person.)

Romans 12:18 NLT Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Becoming skilled at conflict resolution requires four things:

✓ Prayer

✓ Forgiveness

✓ Communication

✓ Negotiation

✓ Prayer is what lays the spiritual groundwork for resolving conflict.

Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ (44) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

✓ Forgiveness is the next element of restoring a relationship.

As a believer, we have no choice but to forgive because the Word tells us to.

Mark 11:25-26 NKJV “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (26) But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 5:23-24 NLT “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, (24) leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

✓  We must seek to open channels of communication.

Very often this goes directly opposed to our human nature. We have the tendency to give people that have offended us the silent treatment.

To communicate literally means to exchange information.

Steven Covey said in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

There is a difference between good communication and bad communication.

Ephesians 4:29-32 MSG Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (30) Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. (31) Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. (32) Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Once communication has been established there can now be negotiation to resolve the conflict.

1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV (10) Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Negotiation is the resolution of differences in a way that is acceptable to both parties.

Compromise – reaching a settlement by each side giving up part of its demands.

Things to do in preparation for negotiation:

  1. Establish your refusal parameters ahead of time.

What can you absolutely not compromise in your negotiation. What is it that the Lord has instructed you that you cannot back away from? Scripture?

  1. Establish your points of negotiation ahead of time.

What do you know that you can give up without violating your refusal parameters or Scripture.

  1. Agree to resolve the conflict.
  2. Identify the principal point of difference.
  3. Make sure that there is effective communication occurring.

Making Adjustments in Negotiation

  1. Consider the emotional content of the conversation!
  2. Listen intently!

James 1:19 AMP Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

Listen actively! Don’t sit there thinking of your response when you should be listening. Our flesh is usually too busy thinking of our response to listen accurately to everything the other person is saying.

  1. Use the paraphrase principle to make certain that you are hearing someone accurately.

Use phrases to reiterate to the person what you believe you heard them say such as, “Okay, let me be sure that I’ve heard you right. I understand that you believe that this was said or done… Is that what you said?”

Paraphrasing forces you to listen to the other person.

  1. Do not engage your tongue before you engage your brain.

Our responses are usually generated out of emotions and we respond quickly to what has been said before we have intellectually measured the wisdom of saying what has popped into our minds.

Be sure that what you hear is really what is on the other person’s mind before you answer.

  1. If you feel threatened, what you hear from someone else will be distorted.

You will not hear what is being said because you are too busy constructing your defense and your self-justification.

Paraphrasing gives you the opportunity to cool off before you respond out of hurt or anger and say something that you might later regret.

When you do respond with your view of the problem, stay impersonal so the other person does not take it as an attack on his or her character.

Once the problem has been identified, you may uncover behavior on your part which has contributed to the point of difference. You may have said or done something which gave an incorrect impression.

If you are at fault, admit it immediately. Be willing to modify your behavior as long as it does not compromise what God has called you to do.

  1. If you are an intense person by nature, sometimes your intensity can be misinterpreted as anger.

If this is the case, you can modify your behavior and approach without compromising the message or what God has called you to do.

  1. The last part in the negotiation process, is to reach a settlement which is mutually satisfactory.

Do not leave any ambiguity in the details of what you have agreed upon.

Make sure that both parties understand what the new responsibilities are and make sure that there is a standard of accountability which will keep everyone adhering to their responsibilities.