The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
1 Kings 5:12 (NIV)
When you are in any kind of leadership in family, business, church, or civic organizations you are going to face your share of conflict and controversy. As I progress in my journey I have come to realize how critical it is to handle conflict well. Each conflict I face is a fascinating experience for me to think introspectively about how I both unconsciously react and how I choose to respond in the situation.
I liked the description of relations between Solomon and Hiram. Wisdom led to an agreement which led to peace. While the scribe of this story is only concerned with Solomon, the truth is that it took wisdom from both parties to avoid conflict and pursue peace. Hiram was, by no means, a fool in this situation.
Any one can pursue peace, but it generally takes two to reach it. If I have a conflict with a neighbor then my desire is to reason things out and come to a peaceful conclusion, even if that conclusion is an agreement to respectfully disagree. If my neighbor continues to seek me out with reasonable and courteous appeals to change my position, I am happy to continue to discussing, considering, and seeking a mutually beneficial resolution. If, however, my neighbor goes around the neighborhood in anger stirring up trouble for me, my natural response is to dig my heels in and harden my position. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I don’t react well when I feel disrespected or bullied. I’m working on that.
Today I am thinking about wisdom and the path to peace. I cannot control others, their words, or their actions. I can only control my own thoughts, words, and actions. I have many personal examples of reacting to conflict with foolish thoughts, words, and actions. Hopefully, the number of these examples is diminishing with time and wisdom is growing in me.