"I don't like confrontation," she said. I don't like it either! The word by definition implies hostility. But, what about conflict? Conflict (or disagreement) is an expected part of human relationships. We can't all agree on everything one hundred percent of the time. That's fair, right? It's certainly not something we should stir up (see Proverbs 6:14, 19; 10:12; 15:18; 16:28; 29:22). When it comes, though, we ought to address it.
Disagreement doesn't have to disintegrate into a confrontation. Conflict can be handled well through honest, gracious conversation. But, I don't know if we've done that well in the church. Here are a few things I try to remember in the midst of conflict.
Words matter. Use them wisely. Carefully. Perhaps, even sparingly. Listen first. Then respond. If there is a gap to be filled in, ask a question before making an unfair assumption. Always, always extend grace and mercy. 1 Corinthians 13. Always.