How to Deal with Conflict from God's Perspective
How to Deal with Conflict from God’s Perspective
Matthew 18:15 - 20
The Examples of Conflict
- Cain and Abel – Genesis 4
- Jacob / Esau – Genesis 27
- Joseph and his brothers – Genesis 50: 15 - 21
- Jonathan / Saul – I Samuel 20:30 - 31
- Jesus and the religious leaders – Matthew 3: 7 – 8; 21:12
- Paul and Barnabas – Acts 15:36-41
The Teaching on Conflict
- Ephesians 4:1 - 6; 4:25 - 31
- Galatians 6: 1 – 4
- James 4:2 – 3
- I Timothy 4:1 – 3; 5:20
- Proverbs 6:16 – 19; Titus 3:10 - 11
- Galatians 5:14- 16
- Hebrews 13:17
The Daily Practical Application of Resolving Conflict
How to deal with conflict with an individual or small group in the church from God’s perspective – Matthew 5:23 - 26
- Pray and ask God to reveal the entire reason for the conflict
- Take responsibility for your part in the conflict
- Follow the steps laid out in Matthew 18:15-20.
- Be prayed up
- Go in an attitude of humility and a desire for reconciliation and resolution to the person or people involved with the conflict
- Be willing to accept any offenses offered to you
- Be willing to ask for forgiveness – “Not I am sorry but will you forgive me.” Remember how much God has forgiven you
- Have a genuine heart of repentance before God and whoever you are in conflict with.
- Close your time in heartfelt prayer and take steps to rebuild the relationship and do what is necessary to make things right
- You may or may not ever be as close as you were before the conflict but you are still brothers and sisters in Christ
How to deal with conflict with a team in authority in the church from God’s perspective
- 1. Pray and consider the decision made by the team to see if there is anything unbiblical about the decision made. Pray and ask God to change your heart to accept the decision the team in authority has made as God’s will at that time. Realize, in most cases, you do not have all the information the team has to make the decision.
- Pray about your motivation and attitude in approaching the team in authority. Have a clear plan for resolution.
- Meet with the team and share your concern based on the Word of God and what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
- Ask the team in authority to prayerfully reconsider their decision
- Develop a creative alternative
- Pray for God to change the hearts of the decision-making body
- Attempt to understand the intentions of the team making the decision
- Give God time to work
- If God does not change the decision, He may want you to change
How to deal with a conflict with the vote of the church body
- Pray and ask God if you can accept the decision the church body has made. If it is clearly unbiblical then prepare your heart to go to the spiritual leadership of the church.
- Understand that the large majority of the time, the decision made by the church family in a vote is to be discerned as God’s will at that time
- If you still feel you must go and share your concerns, follow steps 2- 9 in approaching the spiritual leadership of the church
Note # 1: – To resolve the conflict, only talk to the people or the group involved. Do not go to someone to share about the conflict who cannot be a part of the solution to the problem. * See the Ten Rules for Respecting Each Other.
Note #2: If you are the offended person or you feel you have offended someone, you are to go as soon as possible to reconcile and resolve the conflict
Note #3: The only reason according to the Bible to leave a church is if the church is following false teaching and after being made aware of it refuses to return to sound doctrine
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So, one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” ― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine
Two Choices for the Church Family
Ephesians 4:1 – 3 – “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Galatians 5:13- 15 – “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”