Conflict Resolution

Biblical Conflict Resolution

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

 (Both sides of dispute have a responsibility to reconcile)

 Step 1 Between You and God

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; Psalm 66:18 (unforgiving is sin)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Would overlooking the offense bring Glory to God?
  2. Would overlooking the offence maintain unity in the body?
  3. Would overlooking the offence grow us in Christ likeness?
  4. Would overlooking the offence best serve others involved?

If no to any of the above go to step 2.

Step 2

Go to person individually.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24

Use God’s Word as your guide:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:1-5

 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:15

If no resolution go to step 3

Step 3

But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Matthew 18:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Use God’s Word as your guide:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2

 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11

 Step 4A

Forgiveness for the Sinner

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent–not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.  If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. II Corinthians 2:5-11

 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5

 Step 4B

Agree to Disagree

If the conflict is not leading to or involving a sin can you agree to disagree?

This is possible but comes with warning:

I Samuel 12

12“But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’–even though the LORD your God was your king.

13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you.

14 If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God–good!

15 But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers. …………

23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.

24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

 

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:14-15

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7

 Ask yourselves:

  1. By agreeing to disagree is it possible to bring God glory? (Can we praise God with one heart and one mouth?)
  2. By agreeing to disagree is it possible to maintain unity of the body?  (Can we sit down at one table and share a meal together?)
  3. By agreeing to disagree is it possible to grow us in Christ likeness?

 

If the answer to any of these is No then go back to Step 1 and spend time alone with God.

OR

Step 5

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.   Matthew 18:17

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-12

 Remember

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs19:21

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. Proverbs 20:22

 

Code of Conduct

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  Hebrews 12:14

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1