Taking sides? There’s another option.

All sense of being stuck in the middle of a heated conflict dissolved.

I felt desperate. My fellow church members and I were divided on a decision about church policy. The issue appeared to be very serious. It also appeared that the church meeting we held to vote on the new policy had been deliberately packed to get the outcome favored by one side. The vote was cast and the decision made. Not only did I wholeheartedly disagree with it, but to make matters worse, I was also expected to implement it.

It was a moment of the kind most of us have probably faced in some arena of life, such as school policy, business, family, or government. We get so caught up in a divisive contest that we might even begin to feel that if our side loses, we might do something radical. Stubbornness can become recklessness. There’s an emotional pull to dig in on the side we’ve chosen to the point of being unreasonable, obstinate, and foolish if things don’t go our way.

But what if there were a third option in a hotly debated and heated conflict? That’s what I found in answer to that church policy decision, and it has become a lifelong approach to resolving subsequent conflicts in my life.

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