Solving Conflicts – The P.A.U.S.E. Principle

Teenage life is filled with conflict. Scratch that. All of life is filled with conflict. Conflict is inevitable, but growth is optional.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

With conflict so prevalent in our world today, why do we spend so little time trying to grow in this area? Take a moment and think back to your last day, week, or month. Compare the following two actions and identify which one you spent more time doing:

* complaining about a current conflict of yours or a loved one
* intentionally growing in the area of conflict resolution.

Identifying areas conflict does not take much work. If you check social media, you’ll find many “experts” who can point out what’s wrong with _______ (fill in the blank with your area of interest). Learning the skills to resolve conflict, on the other hand, takes intentional effort and skill development. Think about the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer can tell you the temperature of the room, but a thermostat actually sets the temperature of the room. When it comes to conflict resolution, are you more like a thermometer or a thermostat? My goal for is to help students, parents, and leaders to take their next step in their faith journey. No matter where you are, I believe God is calling you to take that next step. Let’s keep growing together in the likeness of Christ!

In a recent staff training, we learned a practical conflict principle from an organization called Peace Makers. In short, if you need to have a crucial conversation with someone, you should always remember to P.A.U.S.E.

  • Prepare (pray, get the facts, seek godly counsel, develop options)
  • Affirm relationships (show genuine concern and respect for others)
  • Understand interests (identify others’ concerns, desires, needs, limitations, or fears)
  • Search for creative solutions (prayerful brainstorming)
  • Evaluate options objectively and reasonably (evaluate, don’t argue)

I have found this principle helpful in my personal and pastoral life. Try this conversation formula at home with your spouse or with your kids. Try this principle in your workplace or in your neighborhood. Does it help? What results did you see? How did your conversations go? I would love to hear your comments/thoughts/questions when it comes to the topic of conflict resolution.

God bless,

Jon Kragel
High School Pastor
North Ridge Community Church

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