‘Lord, You have searched me and You know me … You perceive my thoughts.’ Psalm 139:1–2 NIV
Just as a body builder develops a great physique by using the correct weightlifting techniques, you must apply the right techniques to achieve the desired results in resolving your conflict. No athlete attempts to lift heavy weights or engage in intense exercise without first warming up his or her muscles. The warm-up is crucial to the workout, as it minimises the risk of injury and increases overall muscle performance. Similarly, preparing for confrontation is almost as important as the confrontation itself. Confronting someone spontaneously or without preparation can have disastrous results. Preparation allows you to look at the situation more clearly and not in the midst of an emotional moment, and will most likely lead to a more effective encounter. This would be a good time to pray: ‘Lord, You have searched me and You know me… You perceive my thoughts from afar… Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely.’ (Psalm 139:1–4 NIV)
It’s important that you first deal with your negative emotions, such as anger or resentment. While you may deem them justifiable, if you don’t ‘release them’ by the power of the Holy Spirit they will become a roadblock to achieving harmony. And you must also refuse to succumb to the fear of addressing the issue, lest you abandon the entire notion of initiating a confrontation.
God can work on both ends of the line. While you are praying and preparing your heart, He can prepare the other person’s heart. ‘There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.’ (Proverbs 12:20 NIV)