How to Restore Harmony in the Home Pt. 2

Understanding How To Resolve Conflict In Your Family

James Greer
May 30, 2021    31m
There will be conflict in your family. And so it is important to understand how to respond to conflict correctly. In today's message, we learn about the different ways we respond to conflict and the steps of correctly resolving conflict. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:01] Good morning, Journey Church. Man, I pray Steve rocked the house this morning. Amen? Man, we're going to continue our series on Family Matters and it's how to have harmony in the home. And we spend a second Sunday on conflict because it seems like the whole world is in conflict. I mean, turn on TV, the radio. It seems like that's all you hear. Did you know I was reading today that more people leave their jobs over conflict than they do money? You think they're leaving to get better pay. But they said most people leave because they had conflict that was unresolved, either with their bosses or either a co-worker and they just decided to leave. Marriage is at an all high divorce time, and it was unresolved conflict. They just couldn't resolve the conflict. There's so many unbelievable emotional anxiety problems. Now, there is physical problems and mental health problems. But there's also a lot of anxiety and emotional problems because of conflict that has never been resolved. You go to work and you had conflict and you come home and you still have the anxiety and you bring it to the house with you. Or you go to school or you have it at home and then you go to work. It's unbelievable. There's families not speaking to each other. Now you can't please everybody. Jesus couldn't even do that. Jesus had the self-righteous Pharisees and hypocrites that he couldn't even please. There are some people that are so demanding that unreal expectations, you just can't have peace with those people. You just have to learn to say no.

James Greer: [00:01:50] But to the most part, I believe that most conflict can be handled. In fact, I believe if two people really want to have peace, they can. I don't think any conflict is so bad that if you really wanted to have it, you couldn't have it. You got to understand, if you don't find a cure, you'll just keep repeating the same conflict over and over again. And when you don't learn to handle conflict correctly, the relationship will collapse. It doesn't matter if it's a relationship with your kids. It doesn't matter if it's a boyfriend, girlfriend. It doesn't matter if it's at work, doesn't matter if it's at school, doesn't matter if it's a husband or wife. If you don't eventually learn to handle the conflict correctly, it will collapse. And if you're in a relationship, I've been trying to teach you over and over again, you've got to build some equity in that relationship. If you've got equity in the relationship, the conflicts aren't as big. My equity is, you know, you've got to have some time that you're not just having arguments. You go out to eat, spend some time, go somewhere special, send them flowers, I don't know. But you've got to have equity in the relationship. And if you have the right amount of equity when the conflict comes up, it's not as big. But if you don't have any equity and you have a little conflict, it looks like a big conflict. So build equity.

James Greer: [00:03:10] We talked about last week there's so many people, you spend time talking about well, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm a born again. I want you to talk about have you been transformed? I love this morning. When the staff came in, first thing I said, let's sit down. We always pray before the service. And I said, talk about transformation. Richie, you won. Richie says, I can't do meth anymore. So what are you going to say after that? Everybody said, oh, well, Richie wins. But we went around. A lot of them it was anger and we talked about all things [inaudible], but also there's some things you change that you desire. Now I love to read God's Word. I didn't want to do that before. I still get angry. But you should've seen me before. I don't cuss near as much as I did before I got saved. Amen? So I know I've been transformed. In fact, so talk about the transformation process, talk about the Romans 12:2. Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed. See, I believe that the Bible says, any man be in Christ is a new creature. All things pass away. All things become new.

James Greer: [00:04:16] See, if you have not had any transformation since you say that you were saved, you could've joined the church, you could've been baptized. But there's never been any change. You might not be saved. I'm not judging you. I'm just saying in the New Testament, every time somebody was saved and they're truly born again, there was a transformation that took process in their life. Also, you know, if you're going to have harmony, you got to have some humility in the home. You just do. In fact, I think the most mature should be the first one to humble themselves. Something else that that I really add to that list today is I want you to start practicing today, being thankful what you do have and stop looking at what you don't have. To some extent, the difference between being content and discontent is learning to be thankful what you have. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God. People always wonder, what's the will of God? How about being thankful for what you have? That's the will of God. Amen? So practice. Just start telling your mate what you're thankful for, for what you have. Thank you for your mate. Thank you for your home. Thank you for your food. What if you started thanking you got a job? A lot of people don't have a job. Amen? So there's a lot of things you can be thankful for. 1 Timothy 6:8 said, if you have food and clothing, you can be content. Anything over food and clothing you have is a gift from God and you should be thankful for it. So we're going to talk about conflict is common.

James Greer: [00:05:45] It's just common to have conflict. You're going to have it on your job, you're going to have it at school, you're going to have it at home, you're going to have it with family. So you might as well know it's common. Now, what's not common is handling it correctly. It's common but not handled correctly. So instead of having harmony in the home, you have harassment. Some people feel like it's just a hassle to go home every day. It's a hassle to go to work every day. You know, their whole life just seems like one big hassle. So you understand that you're going to have conflict. You just need to learn to handle it correctly. If you handle it correctly, that other person might not like it, but you can have peace even if they don't. Of course, when you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you begin to have more victories and you learn how to handle it better, you don't have as many conflicts. Jesus doesn't want you to live in conflict. He tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:33, God is not the author of confusion but of peace. God is not the author of confusion but of what? Peace. As in all churches of saints. You got to understand that Satan was the creator of conflict. He wants you to have conflict. He wants you to tear apart. It started in Heaven. The first conflict was in Heaven. Satan wanted to be worshipped instead of worshipping God. He was the worship leader and he wanted to be worshipped. The truth about most conflict, it's over selfishness instead of selflessness.

James Greer: [00:07:18] It tells us in James 4:1, it says, hey, do you know what you're fighting for? You know why y'all have all arguments? They come from being selfish. Just the beginning of the cure is when we own up to our part of the battle. So let's look at, let's look at this. This is the fun part. Let's look at five ways that people respond to conflict. You ready? Number one, it's my way. It's my way or the highway. How many of those do we have? Don't raise your hand. That's me. And I'm not near as bad as I used to be. We get in an argument, I just wanna win. I don't even know what the argument was about as soon as it starts. I just say, I win. And if I don't win then, I keep on until I win. That's how I know that I've been transformed. I'm not near as bad as I used to be. I just wouldn't give up. Now, sometimes I give up. Sometimes. Mom was being so sweet. She just looked down. Thank you. So that's some people in here. They just, they're going to win. My way or no way. My way or the highway. You know? That's just the way it is. And then there's a second one. Some of us, my way. Some of it, there's no way. You know what the no ways are?

James Greer: [00:08:34] They just withdraw. They just back down. They avoid it at any cost. You know, to acknowledge the problem, you have to acknowledge the problem to start dealing with the problem. There's just no way. You can say, hey, what's the problem? Nothing. You want to talk about it? Nope. How come you don't want to talk? Well, the third way, the third way, it's just your way. Whatever you want to do. They just roll over. They just pretend that it's okay no matter what you do. They never talk about it. They never have a conflict. It's almost like a doormat. You just think it's very peaceful, but it's really not. Because they live in frustration. And what happens then, sometimes it's a year, sometimes two years, sometimes it's five years, all of a sudden, they blow up and all H breaks loose. I didn't see it. And then they wonder what's going on. And there's some people, they're married five years and then the other one finally snaps and says, hey, I want out of this marriage. It would've been a good idea if y'all talked about it. I had one couple, they've been married 30 some years. Came to my office, they said, hey, I'm leaving. I said, how come? He said she's always had her way. She never, she talks to me ugly. I said, have you told her? No. I said, well, I think I'd talk to her before I just left her. Amen? And they have a built-in anxiety because they never learned to handle the conflict.

James Greer: [00:10:11] And then there's this fourth way's better than those. It's halfway. I win sometimes, you win sometimes. We're gonna kind of compromise on who wins. And that's better than the other way. I mean, I win a little bit. Give me a little bit. You win a little bit. But the best way is this way. The best way is our way. Our way is I really care about this relationship. I want to solve the problem. But our relationship is more important than the problem. You really want to, you really want to solve a conflict? Now it takes two that love each other. And you tell your mate or they tell you, says, you know, what I want you to know is I love you and more important than this conflict is our relationship. I want to talk about how to find a cure. But you got to let your guard down and what I want more than anything is not to affect our relationship. You know, if you learn to handle it right, you can have a certain amount of intimacy by the time the conflict is over. So you got to learn to fight fair. Any two people that both want to settle a conflict can and it can actually lead to intimacy because you handle it right. You have to let down your guard. You have to be personal and you have to share private things.

James Greer: [00:11:38] And when you do that, my goodness, at the end of the day, at the end of the conflict, you can almost be closer than you were. If it's a husband and wife, man, you let down, you said, honey, what I want you to know, this relationship's the most important thing, you almost want to fight again where you can get together again. Amen? You've got to fight fair. Not to wind but to resolve the conflict. And there's things that you don't say. You don't start calling each other names. You're not supposed to raise your voice, but I do. But don't do that. Don't get historical, not hysterical and historical. Don't keep bringing up the past all the time. And don't say never and always. I don't always do that. I just did it a few times. So don't say always. And never, ever in the middle of a fight threaten divorce. The more you do that, the more likely you're going to have that. Don't confess that. You don't want that to happen. You know, one of the best things that ever happened to me with my anger besides getting saved. I can remember after I was saved and started being transformed, walking out of my office and how I used to scream and not wanting to scream like I used to. But the best thing is when I started becoming self-aware. The best thing is, of course, the ABCs of anger is first you acknowledge that you're angry.

James Greer: [00:12:59] Some people say, what are you upset about? Nothing. But the second is the best. Have you ever backtrack to find out what you're really angry about? I bet you 50% or 60% of the time when I'm upset with Debbie, it's not Debbie. It can be sadness, loneliness, disappointment. But most of the time, it's wrong expectations and it's wrong to get angry at wrong expectations when you haven't talked about the expectation. You haven't told them why you're upset. You're just upset. You haven't told them, you know, you went home and you thought they were going to cook or you were planning on going out or you're planning on doing something. I don't know what something is. But whatever that something is. And y'all didn't talk about it and then you get upset about it. That's called unfair expectations to the other person. Now, the reason that most people don't do that because most people don't want to be self-aware of themselves. And you start becoming self-aware in the long run, it'll help you find the, track it back and say, what was it I was really angry about? Was it unmet expectations, feeling like I was attacked? Oh, me. When I feel like I'm attacked, I put up my guard. Sometimes I get angry. What happens here in church a lot of times, we said, hey, I'm not trying to hurt you, I'm trying to help you. And so, therefore, as a staff, we can talk to each other if we did something that we need to talk about instead of getting attacked, instead of putting up a guard, we let our guard down and say, hey, we're all trying to help each other. Amen?

James Greer: [00:14:27] But if you're not careful whether it's on the job, your family, your kids, if you're not careful when they're trying to help, you think they're trying to hurt you and your guard goes up and you don't learn and you don't grow. I've seen people quit jobs over that. Somebody was trying to help you and you thought they were trying to hurt you. You said, if you just knew what they said to me. You know what they said? Come to work on time every day, do your job, pick up the trash, I don't know, make up your bed. I can't believe they talk to me like that. You felt like you were attacked, feel unloved, jealousy. Oh, I used to be jealous. Huh, Mom? Remember when we first got married? Holy Moses. You know I got transformed. Remember that one time I said, that guy look at you? Oh, gosh, those were terrible times, especially for your poor mate. They're just doing nothing and you get upset. Disrespected. Oh. I can remember my poor son when he disrespected, I'd chase him down if I could catch him. He'd disrespect me and then run. Ask you if that made you mad? Remember the time I jump through the bathroom window chasing him?

James Greer: [00:15:49] Guess who got all scraped up? Insecurity. So what I'm trying to tell you is you really want to grow, say amen. You want to get better, amen? Start backtracking and find out what you're really getting upset about and you might find out it's not what you think it is. Then consider what it is and determine what you're going to do. Don't fight back with always criticism and defensiveness and stonewalling. Don't do that. Let's get some resolution of conflict. Number one, you become a Christian. Now, not just become a Christian, be a doer of the words, not just a hearer of the words. Because when you become a Christian, Jesus breaks down walls for you. It says, but now in Christ Jesus who was far away from God are brought near through Him through the blood of Jesus Christ, through His death. Now, ready? Christ Himself is our peace. You ready? Who's our peace? I'm going to give you a quiz, but I'll tell you the answer because our last people got a B. And the largest group, they got a B. I want to give y'all an A. I'm gonna tell you the answer before I ask the question. Christ Himself, He is our peace. Okay. Christ Himself is our...? Y'all got a B plus. I mean, what I want you to know is Christ is our peace. And if you don't know Christ is your peace, you're looking to get peace out of something else, somebody else, something else.

James Greer: [00:17:14] See, you're trying to get it out your job, you're trying to get it from your mate, you're trying to get it from church, you're trying to get it from your preacher. Good luck. I mean, but Christ is your peace. Amen? And He made both Jewish people and those who aren't Jewish. You know why? You know what He did? They therefore separated as if they were all wall between them. Look at this, but Christ, He broke it down, that that wall of hate by giving His body for it. In other words, this is the deal. If you're saved and your mate's not saved, there's a wall between you. You can have a good marriage, but you're not gonna have a great marriage. Because ultimately, Jesus came to tear down the wall where you could come together. And as you grow closer to God, you get closer to each other. And so God says, I came to be your peace and to tear down the wall. So let's say now both of us are saved. Amen? Now we're going to be doers of the word, not just hearers of the word. Then you have to get something bigger than just you. You got to come to the point you're living for something bigger than yourself. You've got to come to the point you're living for something bigger even than just your marriage. You got to come to, the Matthew 6:33 which is one of the greatest principles, Matthew 6:33, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteous.

James Greer: [00:18:27] He said, I'm going to take care of everything else. Do you and your mate talk about furthering God's kingdom, something that's bigger than you, something that's never going to go away, something that's going to last for eternity? Do that. Focus on something other than yourself. See, because really, you can't have peace with other people till you have peace with God. Too many people are trying to have peace with others and they don't have peace with God. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, God has done it all. God sent Christ to make peace, peace between Himself and us, and He gives us the work of making peace between Himself and others. God says, listen, I gave y'all, you're supposed to be peacemakers. Quit being troublemakers. You said, He Himself did that. He said He did that by, Romans 5:1, therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So first, you have to have peace with God before you can have peace with other people. And then He tells us in John 16:33, He says, these things I have spoken unto you that in me you may have peace. In the world, if you're looking to the world, you're going to have tribulation. Be of good cheer. I've overcome the world. In other words, God says there's something really important that you probably need to write it down. You ready? If you don't understand this, that peace is relational, not circumstantial. Most Christians don't even know that.

James Greer: [00:19:55] Peace is relational, not circumstantial. And if you don't understand that peace is relational and not circumstantial, every time your circumstances change, you lose your peace. But if you had the right kind of peace and it's relational and it starts with having the right relationship with God and the right relationship with other people, even if your circumstances change, you don't have to lose your peace. Oh, Brother James, that's good. You ought to get that. Then once you have that, you let the Holy Spirit rule your life. Let Him rule your heart. Colossians 3:15. Says, now just let the peace of God rule your heart. When you know He's ruling because you're at peace. You know? It just as I do it. And see, then you know it because you have the kingdom of God. A lot of people don't understand the kingdom of God. For the kingdom of God is not eating, it's not drinking. But it's be in a right relationship with God and a right relationship with other people. And what does it produce? It produces peace and joy and the Holy Spirit. So when you're right with God and you're right with other people, it produces what? Peace and joy. And that's what He was summing up when He said, you had to be born again when Jesus, Jesus was answering. And Jesus answered and said to me and you and everybody here, most surely I say unto you, unless you're born again, you can't see, you can't experience the kingdom of God.

James Greer: [00:21:09] You can't have the love and joy and peace that God has for you. But if you have the right love and joy and peace, you can have peace no matter what's going on. You know how you have it? You've got to make sure that you're saved. Okay? You got to totally depend on God and you represent Christ in the situation and you can have peace no matter what the situation, no matter what the outcome. You can't control what somebody else does, but you control what you do. Amen? All Right, let's get to number three. Real important. I don't do this like I should. But we should all learn to do this. Talk to God about the conflict before you talk to the person. Most of the time, if we would talk to God about the conflict before we talk to the person, the conflict wouldn't be so big. James 4:2 says, you quarrel and you fight. And you don't have because you do not ask God. Listen, real important. Many times you're looking to others to meet expectations only God can. God created us and He designed us in a way there's needs that only He can meet. And if you're not careful, you start looking to your mate, your job, your hobby, your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your church to meet a need in your life that only Christ can meet. He created us in a way that there's needs in our life that only He can meet. Until you learn that, you're always looking to other people to meet your needs.

James Greer: [00:22:42] Matter of fact, anger many times is a red flag that you're expecting somebody else to meet your needs that only God can. Philippians 4:19 says, God shall meet or supply all my needs. Who's going to supply them? God is. According to His riches and glory in Jesus Christ. Okay? So number one, what do you do? You meet with God before you meet with them. Number two, if you really have a conflict, listen, analyze your problem. You know how you do that? You ask God, how much of this is my own fault? Sometimes people never stop to look at themselves and they start accusing, they start to blame, and they start attacking. And they never check their own blind spot. I have blind spots. You have blind spots. We all have blind spots. Matthew 7:3 puts it really good. Why then do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your eye? I got a good idea. I dare you to say to your brother, please let me take that speck out of your eye when you got a log in your eye. So stop judging other people first. Stop being so demanding. Stop being so unrealistic, oversensitive. Aren't you scared when you go to somebody, they're just so sensitive, you're almost scared to say something to them because you're scared they're gonna get upset. Everybody knows people like that.

James Greer: [00:23:55] Well, you know, judge yourself first. Stop judging other people and you'll be happier. I have people of all time come to me saying, can you believe so-and-so is doing so? Can you believe so, I'm not responsible for them. I'm responsible for me. Amen? So why don't you judge yourself first and make sure, most people don't see themselves as they are. They see themselves as they want to be. That's why it's so important you do this. That's the same thing as anger. Most people don't really understand why they're getting angry because they don't want to have the self awareness enough to track it back and see what you're really angry about. And so you just keep going. And then last, change your focus. You change your focus by quit being so selfish. It's how you're born, and that's what the flesh is. Now, you practice being unselfish. That'll go against your nature. By nature, we're all selfish. So you change the focus and start being unselfish. You don't do anything out of selfish ambition or of cheap desires or both. But you humble. You've got to have humility To have harmony towards one another. Always concern the other person better than yourselves. So so you got to change the focus in your life, you know, and you look out for one another's interests just as you do yourself. So I'm gonna tell you there's two things you can do today. One of them, every single person here, upstairs and online, can have peace. You can have peace. You know why?

James Greer: [00:25:24] God. What's that, Pete? Peace. Did it go out? It's about to come back on. Good. Don't go out now. [inaudible] the best. Everybody's either going to get saved or have peace. Amen? Don't go out now. Everybody is going to have conflict, but the goal today is find a cure for the conflict. If you're in conflict, try to be relational in the conflict. It will change your life. Doesn't matter if it's your kids, it doesn't matter if it's on your job, but especially if you're married. I'm going to be relational in my conflict. 10-4? I mean, amen? If you're not a Christian, today's the day to become a Christian. If you're a Christian, we're going to practice being doers of the word, not just hearers of the word. We're going to talk about being transformed. Third, we're going to focus on something bigger than ourselves. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Fourth, uh-oh. I learned this is one of the biggest things I do when I get over anxious, anxiety, and worry. I go to my office. I've written it from my Bible. It's Psalms 46:10 and 11. It says, be still. Be still and know that I'm God. I will be exalted among all the nations, exalted in Earth. I'm the Lord of hosts, I also have it written in a different version and I paraphrase it.

James Greer: [00:26:58] This is James, this is from God. Calm down. Calm down and learn that I'm God. I can still remember when God spoke to me about this. It was really, really convicting. He said, calm down. You're all upset. You're not God. I didn't even know it but to some extent, I was upset because I was trying to play God and didn't even know it. I was upset because our situation, the circumstances that I thought I could fix. I wanted them fixed so bad. I had unbelievable anxiety about it, legal troubles, and problems. And God said, you do what you could do and you let me be God. It just had a calming effect. So it's just personal. I have it written from my Bible. It's a note from God that He told me to calm down, learn that He's God. He said of all nations on earth, they're going to honor me. You know what the next verse said? And the Lord, capital L-O-R-D, the Lord of hosts, the on that's the ultimate authority, one that can call all angels to war for Him. He's totally in charge. You know what He says? The Lord of all power is with us. He tells me, first of all, to calm down. He said, second of all, I'm God, not you. He said, third of all, I'm with you and for you. Why couldn't you have peace when you do that? You can. I can and you can.

James Greer: [00:28:32] Nobody here has to go home the same way. And it's my goal that you would never look at conflict the same way that you have in the past. It's my goal that every time that you get upset, that you'll look at anger in a different way. It's my goal that right now that you allow God to have His will and His way in your life. Would you stand and let me pray for you? God, I thank you for today. Your word is so powerful. God, I want you to be God right now. For those that came and have unbelievable anxieties and worries and pressure, let them do what they can to be at peace with God and at peace with other people. And let you do the rest. Let you be God. God, you said that you're with us in your force so we don't have to worry about anything else. For those that aren't sure if they're saved, let today to be the day that you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. You simply acknowledge that you're a sinner. You believe Jesus died for your sins, and you'd like to invite Him in your heart, be the Lord of your life.

James Greer: [00:29:36] Maybe there's never been some transformation in your life. So you just want to confirm it. You know what you're doing today. Maybe you want to follow through and baptism and you haven't done that. And you know that God's pulling on your heart to do that. And you want to come and tell somebody or maybe you want to do it on your next step card or maybe you want to talk to one of the ones on the front. Maybe you say you want to talk to God about, hey, I've been judging other people and I need you. God, search my heart. Show me if there's any wicked ways. Help me to get the log out of my eye and to stop looking at the speck in everybody else's eye. So whether it's to come to join, follow through in baptism, to find peace that can only come from God, not from other people, to understand that peace is relational, not circumstantial. Please let God have His will and His way in your life. It's in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:30:23] On behalf of Pastor James, thank you for joining our online experience today. Wasn't that just an amazing end to our series Family Matters? Now, next week, we are starting a brand new series and I am so excited about it. It is called True Colors and you do not want to miss it. But if you need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby that are willing to pray with you. There's a link down in description that you click on, fill out, and someone will get with you right away. We also have an amazing website, where you can go on and find different resources for different things that you might be struggling with. You can also share this with other people right now. So we just hope to see you next week after we start our new series. Thank you.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360