Another topical sermon I heard this morning on the Christian radio station, but unfortunately I don't have any information about the pastor or where he's from. Also unfortunately, the way he presented his sermon felt more like a 9-step program than a gospel-focused sermon, but the point of it is still applicable and interesting to those of us who (like me) tend to feel defensive when disagreements arise.
How to deal with conflict in your relationships with others:
1) Keep a quiet spirit--don't allow yourself to retaliate with a sharp outburst, but respond calmly. "God didn't create you with a short fuse. If you think it's 'just part of your personality', get a different personality."
2) Don't defend yourself immediately. Let the other person have their say and give yourself time to think wisely about what will come out of your mouth.
3) Luke 12:12--Ask the Holy Spirit to guard your mouth.
4) Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment. Ask, "What's going on here? What's the big picture?"
5) No matter the circumstance, view it as coming from God. Not in the sense of "God caused this", but rather knowing that everything that happens in our lives is allowed by God and He uses it for our spiritual good. This circumstance will prove some purpose in both people's lives.
6) Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if it's your fault. If so, admit it, ask for forgiveness from God and the other person, commit to never committing that sin again, and ask for suggestions for improvement from the other person.
7) Forgive the person no matter what. You have been fogiven all by God. This doesn't mean you "give up", but you don't have the right to withhold forgiveness from anyone, even if they don't verbally ask you for it.
8) Look beyond this instance to avoid a similar situation in the future. How can you help the other person and yourself avoid this same circumstance again?
9) Take advantage of the conflict to 1) learn from it about the other person and yourself, 2) use the opportunity to demonstrate Christ.