Sometimes you get tired of conflicts. People come to you with conflicts regularly, wanting you to take sides and resolve them. Sometimes they have conflicts with you. You’re tired, it hurts, people keep coming at you. Why do they never seem to be coming at you with the good stuff? 

As you help people through conflict, here are some ways to help leverage opportunities for spiritual growth… ways to bring out the “good stuff” hidden within conflicts. It’s hard guiding people through conflict. Yet God can do great things… through them and through you. 

4 Positive Things Conflict Can Accomplish

why conflict isn't all bad

1. Conflict can bring light to dark places

Rather than pretending everything is fine, avoiding or denying your feelings, or giving in to the temptation to lash out, encourage them to bring their emotions to God. They can be honest with him. He can handle it. Let people know that honesty is good and create a safe place for confession and vulnerability. Telling oneself, “I shouldn’t be upset” doesn’t work. The emotions will just come out sideways. Best to tell God about it: “I feel angry. I feel disappointed. I feel jealous.” Whatever the case may be, people can recognize their emotions honestly and express them to God, unfiltered. When in conflict, sometimes God is the last person people want to talk with, but he’s precisely the one we most need. Conflicts give all of us a chance to go deeper with him.  

Some questions that may help:

  • As you think about this conflict, what emotions are you feeling? 
  • How can you express your emotions to God? 
  • Even if your emotions feel exaggerated, what is the sliver of truth in them? 
  • What are the lies you are believing?
  • How has God met you when you’ve felt like this in the past? 

2. Conflict can catalyze healthy growth

Encourage people in self-reflection. Have them ask themselves: What is my part in the conflict? It’s seldom the case that one party is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. Even if they are mostly right, consider: What’s their 10%? That recognition can grow and shape character in ways few other things can. Sometimes others don’t even know this person is in conflict with them, and it turns out it’s not something that needs to be addressed with others. Rather, the person actually needs to address it within themselves, whether it’s a matter of setting expectations appropriately or facing disappointments. Encourage people to examine themselves, allow God to search them hearts, and space for repentance. Doing so provides a opportunity for transformation.

Some questions that may help:

  • What is God convicting you about in this conflict? 
  • What steps might you take to address your part in the conflict (even if it’s a small part)?
  • What are you learning about yourself? What are you learning about God? 
  • How will you change things going forward? 

3. Conflict is a grace opportunity

Conflicts open the door to the power of reconciliation and second chances. Make sure people know there is always hope. The cycle of conflict and redemption, suffering and second chances, damaged relationships and reconciliation is powerful. Those stories touch us– universally– because we all crave that kind of healing and renewal. Conflicts–especially relational conflicts–provide people with this chance. When  they can go to the other person, talk with them, listen to them, try to understand each other’s perspectives, they will have a chance at a renewed relationship… one better and stronger than it was before. Sometimes people experience resolution in conflict. Sometimes they don’t. But there is always the chance to learn and grow through it, even in the midst of pain. 

Some questions that may help:

  • What opportunities can you see stemming from this conflict? 
  • What’s holding you back from addressing this directly with the person? 
  • How can you position yourself to understand their perspective?  

4. Conflict is an opportunity for healing

When we journey with God through times of conflict, we can experience healing and transformation. Hurt is often at the root of anger. People in conflict are exposing their wounds. They get angry with God, or distant from God. They get bitter because of the wound, and the continual revisiting of the wound diminishes their experience of God. Helping people address the conflict alongside God, allows them to work through it and heal… regardless of what the other party in the conflict chooses to do. We all live in a fallen world, but our God is a God of healing. 

Some questions that may help:

  • Reflect on how God has used conflict to transform you in the past to help you grow. 
  • What is God calling you to do now? 
  • What areas within you need to be addressed with healing? 


Conflict Resolution Skill Builder- As you can see, if handled properly, conflict can highlight problems that need to be rectified, lead to new ideas and behavior, enhance communication and foster better long-term relationships between individuals and groups. This Skill Builder looks at how you can strengthen your conflict resolution skills.

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Photo by Alex Green