The Emotions of Conflict

The way to handle the most dangerous aspects of conflict is from the inside out.

"I certainly see your point," Pastor Brown said. He kept his voice carefully modulated. Only his clenched hands betrayed his agitation, and neither Elder Peters nor Elder Roberts noticed.

"I'm really glad you're on our side, Pastor," Peters said, getting up from the couch. "I was afraid that this foolish proposal to turn an entire room over to the youth was going to be passed. I'm glad we'll avoid that mistake."

The pastor hadn't actually said he would support efforts to block the room conversion. What he said was, "I'll speak to the youth advisers and emphasize the need to keep the room flexible."

"I knew we could count on you," Roberts said as the two men left the pastor's office.

Carl Brown's mind flashed back to the conversation he'd had that morning with Tracy, who chaired the Christian education committee. The youth group had outgrown their small classroom. The committee planned for the teens to switch rooms with the dwindling adult Bible study and let the group decorate the much larger ...

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