SSU of the Month: Lirong

image: Single Sisters in University

Interview Topic: How to Avoid Conflicts?

Sisters! Meet Lirong, a former SSU. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Studies and currently works in Accounting.
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all” (2 Timothy 2:24). This is our theme verse today. Disagreements with people are inevitable but how to prevent them from scaling up to conflicts/quarrels or fights?

How do you compare yourself to the topic verse?
I like that verse actually, it’s a great reminder to always avoid quarrels. Have I lived up to it? I am on my way definitely. I am consciously making efforts by the power of the Holy Spirit to get to that point.

How have your previous relationships been like conflict-wise?
I have never had conflicts with my friends or classmates (when I used to be in school). Conflicts, in my case, arise from my family relationships. At home, I have the freedom to say whatever I want (which led me most of the times in trouble); whereas with my friends, I do my best to example Christ.

What do you do to prevent disagreements from scaling up to higher levels?
In the past, I really didn’t have self-control, I would just let anything out of my mouth. As of recent, I have resorted to be silent if I see that the conversation is not going anywhere.

What has been your tactic in resolving conflicts?
I try, like I said earlier, with the power of the Holy Spirit to avoid conflicts at all times these days. If ever I am caught up in a conflict/quarrel, I will pray for the Father to give me strength and humility to ask for forgiveness to the person. Is asking for forgiveness the best option or do you use it as a way to just end the conflict?
Regardless of the reason, it’s the best decision to take before God. Matthew 5:23-24 says “so if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” I want to make sure that at the end of the day when I go to the Father in prayer, He has nothing to reproach me and there are no hindrances in my prayer life.

We all want to prove our point or state our opinion to others, at times, there are people who clearly don’t want to hear us out, how do you handle that?
It’s frustrating when people don’t want to hear us out and that’s sometimes a place where I fail. I tend to talk over the person or raise my voice because I want to be heard. When I see that despite my efforts, the person is still not reasoning properly, I just shut down and become quiet.

Does keeping quiet help solve matters or should people let it out?
I would say talk once or twice to explain yourself. Sometimes the person got it all wrong so there’s a need to clarify things. After that, if the person persists in his/her opinion, keep quiet because it will be pointless to go back and forth. Be quiet and let them say whatever, why? To keep a clean conscience before the Lord. There is a passage in Proverbs 10:19 which says “in the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

Do you put yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand where he/she is coming from? Not at the moment when it happens. I think at that time we’re only thinking about ourselves. Honestly, I don’t like thinking in other people’s mind to understand where they’re coming from, I just like to see the whole situation from an objective point to see where I have perhaps missed it.

Any words for SSU?
Disagreements are inevitable but conflicts are definitely avoidable. According to 2 Timothy 2:24, there’s a zero tolerance for quarrels for a child of God, hence do not grieve the Holy Spirit by fostering that kind of environment. When you see that a conversation is leading to nowhere, stop right there because no amount of your words will convince the person otherwise. It’s much easier to keep your mouth shut than go ask for forgiveness after hurting someone with your words. Always pray the Holy Spirit for self-control and peace because you can’t achieve this on your own.

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