How to Handle Conflict Biblically
Conflict is anything but comfortable. Daley reminds us how working through conflict in a God-honoring way can have huge benefits! It’s so worth it!
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
Do you ever wish there was no such thing as conflict? You may be the type who runs and hides in a closet if there’s a conflict; or maybe you flourish in these types of situations. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, conflict is inevitable.
We’ve all been in situations where our feelings have been hurt, we have been wronged, or been mistreated. No fun! And the hard truth of the matter is that we also have been on the other side of that equation. We have been the one hurting others and have wronged our neighbors.
When Jesus was here on earth He talked a lot about the Kingdom of God. In fact, that was His whole mission here on earth. He said that the Kingdom of God is at hand. His Kingdom is one of peace with the purpose to bring reconciliation between humanity back to a Holy and perfect God.
If the Kingdom of God is at hand, this means it is a PRESENT REALITY. We are a part of this now. Incredible!
Jesus also taught about what it means to be a peacemaker. We live in a world where the vast majority of us are conflict avoiders. The Bible challenges us to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation. Jesus even gave us a promise that we will be called sons and daughters of God when we live this out.
Many people view conflict only in a negative way, but conflict makes us stronger, and we learn what’s actually worth fighting for. God’s Word helps us handle conflict in a godly way so He can use it for good:
- Own it. If you’ve messed up, own it. Own it fully because the offense is against a Holy God—don’t explain it away. Ask for forgiveness. We should own all that we can for the good of relationships and the glory of Christ. Confession, and walking in the light, gives God the opportunity to display grace in our lives. (1 John 1:7-10)
- Speak Truth. If you’ve been hurt, go to the person humbly and talk tothem. Listen to them. And pray for them. (Eph. 4:29-32)
- Give grace. Be quick to forgive. Remember the grace upon grace, upon grace, that you’ve been freely given in Christ Jesus. Ask God to give you the grace to receive His grace, and for the grace to give it freely to others. (Col. 3:13)
Is there someone who has hurt your feelings recently? Have you hurt someone else’s feelings? A friend? A sibling? Your mom or dad? Practice giving grace today. Ask Jesus to help you be a peacemaker. You’ll be happy you did!