What Will Direct Your Behavior?

Choose Your Response


Contrary to popular belief, conflict is actually a healthy process between two people that can result in a closer relationship. However, in the midst of conflict, negative thoughts and emotions can often hinder the process and cause a person to respond based on their feelings, rather than in a wise and winsome way. Jeff Baker, a clinical psychologist for over 30 years, shares the truth that we do not need to obey the negative thoughts and emotions that bombard us in the midst of conflict. 



Within conflict, we are not bound by our negative thoughts and emotions, nor are we obligated to allow them to direct our behavior. 

Jeff encouraged you to think back on your last conflict, and observe your own behavior. He told you to notice the way you responded. Think back to your last conflict. What do you observe about your own behavior? What are your tendencies and natural responses?
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What signals and negative thoughts or emotions flood your mind during conflict? Do you allow those thoughts or feelings to determine your behavior?
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Jeff mentioned that focusing on negative thoughts and emotions actually reinforce them. What are some strategies and ways you can acknowledge those things without focusing on them, or allowing them to dictate your response?
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Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


In Galatians, the Apostle Paul talks about the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in the lives of believers. One of these fruits is self-control. How does knowing Christ allow us to choose a different response in conflict, rather than be ruled by negative emotions and feelings?
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How would conflict resolve differently if you were to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in self-control and the choice of a different response? What are some practical steps you can take to separate from negative feelings and choose your behavior within conflict?
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Even though negative thoughts and emotions may occur in our minds during conflict, because of the Holy Spirit’s work within us, we can choose self-control and have a different response. We do not have to obey our sinful thoughts and emotions, but can actively choose our behavior.