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10 Ways to Fight Like a Christian

4. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

As our pastor of counseling, Brad Hambrick says, the vast majority of communication problems are not expression problems, but listening problems. You’re plenty skilled at making your point known; but the “communication breakdown” is the result of your stopped up ear. Listening well is one way of applying the biblical truth of considering others’ interests more important than your own. (cf. Phil 2:3-4)

5. Seek their sanctification, not your vindication.

Once you let go of the idea that you have to win every argument and vindicate yourself, you can finally focus on what helps the other person and the relationship. That means backing off, even when you think you are in the right.

6. Believe in God’s overriding purposes in your relationships.

Knowing that God has a purpose for your relationships introduces an element of hope, even to the most broken of those relationships. This will not automatically make a difficult relationship easier, but it does add perspective: God knew you would be in that relationship, and he intends to do something beautiful with your conflict.

7. Speak grace-saturated words.

When grace saturates your speech, it changes both the content and the tone of what you say. Instead of assuming the positives and noticing the negatives, you begin to assume the negatives and intentionally point out the positives. You avoid being sarcastic and condescending, because that kind of talk — even if it’s technically “true” — only serves to ostracize and tear down.

8. Don’t give up until there is no longer a chance of reconciliation.

This is specifically applicable to married relationships, though the principle is broader than that. I see so many couples going through the pain of divorce, and even though there are a few isolated cases in which divorce is biblically justifiable, I wish that more people would just give the power of grace a chance before giving up on that relationship.

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.