“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17 (NLT)
Professional boxing bouts are limited to a maximum of twelve rounds. Whether the fight goes the distance or is cut short, a winner is declared at the end by the judges. Sometimes, the match will end with a split decision. Learning how to accept a split decision will help resolve conflict in a relationship as well. The letter written by James offers us wise counsel in how to accept a split decision that will lead to connection out of a conflict. He says,
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”
Did you notice that phrase willing to yield to others? This is the key attitude and action for accepting a split decision to resolve conflict. Conflict often comes from differing opinions. We see things from a different perspective and may feel threatened when someone disagrees with us. It’s been said often and is true: If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary!
How can you willingly yield to someone who disagrees with you? While some people may consider yielding to another as tapping out and giving up, it is the quickest way to connection in a relationship. Yielding to another offers two benefits:
It gives the other person the benefit and respect of being heard. This may be half the battle! Yielding to another involves listening to their heart as well as their words. Remember the goal is fighting for the relationship, not just to win the argument.
Yielding to another can bring resolution to the conflict and deeper connection when we view yielding as giving the issue over to the Lord. When we yield to one another, we are not giving up or giving in. We are giving it over to the Lord.
The fact is there are some things you’ll never agree on! That’s okay. Look past the desire to be right or win the fight, and value the person. When you do, both of you can embrace your differences and enjoy a deeper connection.