The University of Texas offers some ground rules to resolve conflict without fighting: Stay calm; express feelings in words, not actions; be specific about what bothers you; deal with one issue at a time; avoid accusations; try not to generalize; don’t store up grievances; don’t clam up—two-way talk is needed; be willing to compromise; if conflict persists, talk with a skilled mediator. Years ago, God gave Gideon a strategy for winning a battle without fighting. In the book of Judges Chapter 7, the Midianites had gathered to battle Gideon and his army. God told Gideon to send home all his men but 300. With 300 men breaking clay jars and blowing ram’s horn in unison, they sent the Midianites into a panic. They fought each other with their swords. Many died there; others fled to nearby towns to escape. Of course, God gave Gideon a unique strategy to defeat his enemies. Yet when we see all the conflict and violence in our country and around the world, we should be looking for nonviolent ways to promote justice and resolve conflict. Otherwise, we will continue to decline into a chaotic society that will be extremely painful.
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