025: Resolving Conflict When Christians Disagree


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

In our continued study of conflict resolution God’s way, we will discuss conflicts that arise from righteousness issues. This is a type of conflict regarding what is the righteous thing to do in a given situation. 


The basic solution to righteousness issues is bible study. Both parties should search the scriptures to find out what the word teaches on that issue. A major guideline to talking with other Christians about righteousness issues when we have conflict is evangelism- the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. In episode 25, Pastor Jeff will share guidelines for talking to other Christians about righteousness issues, explore issues with biblical roles of leadership or subordinate roles, and provide steps and ideas for practically communicating through righteousness issues. 

  • Guidelines for Talking to Other Christians about Righteousness Issues:

  • Confess and seek forgiveness for any sinful words, that may have been involved in the issue.
  • Look and express the nature of the problem distinctly. 
  • Find common ground. Determine what can be agreed upon. 
  • Search the scriptures for biblical direction in resolving the issue.
  • Make the modifications necessary to reach and implement a new solution.

Resources:


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  • Tom Zimbelman says:

    This, as Pastor Jeff says in the podcast, is a common issue we Christians are confronted with: a disagreement between like-minded believers who seem to have Scriptural support on each one’s side. A couple critical points that spoke to me: Confess any part of the disagreement that has evolved into sin (angry or hurtful words, gossip, etc); Go to Scripture in a sincere search for the truth on the matter.

    Some disagreements are theological (I’m dealing with my brother with that…), and some simply involve practical matters (where to go next in ministry, or who to take with us – like in Acts 15:36-41). In those times when it seems both Christ-loving believers can’t agree, I think it’s important to appeal to love and simply agree to disagree. In the case of my brother and I, we continue to affirm one another as true believers and are trying to work our way through certain passages. We may never agree, but I think we are both approaching with a willingness to be corrected if wrong. Now, it’s not always that easy. There was another situation that came to my mind as I was listening to this podcast that has led to a sharp disagreement and hurtful words/actions. Jeff’s counsel to honestly seek the Lord on where we have sinned and ask for forgiveness is wise.

  • Kristie Gallagher says:

    This week was another great podcast. Pastor Jeff talking about conflict with other believers. Whether it’s personal conviction or over righteousness. We all have conflicts with other believers and how do we handle them. Jeff gave 6 very practical steps in resolving these issues. 1- confess sin if we have said things that we shouldn’t have said. 2- we need to be sure we look at both sides and listen to the other persons opinion. 3- is there common ground that we can agree upon. 4- search for biblical direction. 5- make the medications necessary to reach a new solution and finally, if you can’t agree bring in a mediator. There should always be a level of respect and a willingness to yield. This is a very helpful tool when dealing with conflict and very practical.

    • Alejandro Anchondo says:

      I agree about the willingness to change. If we are so set in our thoughts that we can’t imagine change, then we are likely pushing our views on others too. Instead of resolving conflict, when we are unwilling to change we cause more conflict. God asks us to humble ourselves and seek His will. Each time we need to change towards Him. We should esteem our brothers and sisters highly so that we can at least entertain the thoughts of changing to be like them in issues of righteousness or conviction.

  • Ulyana says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff, for another powerful and essential topic. The conflict resolution God’s way. It’s so important to have reflect on God ratter on ourselves. I really like all the 5 points you mentioned and I agree on all of them. Most what spoke to me that not all conflict is bad. Most time we think of conflict as something to avoid but conflict is a trial that gives us an opportunity to grow in many ways. And I believe you said it all of them. Sometimes we just need to yield and willing to see not through my eyes but through God. And yes to be honest conflicts are not pleasant but it can bring such growth in the relationship in general. Because, we cannot change others. But our efforts should be directed toward resolving differences but we realize that not all conflicts will be resolved.

    • Melissa Hermosillo says:

      Yes! I love that you say we should see it through God’s eyes. Sometimes looking it through our lense, will lead to feeling frustrated and broken, but looking at things through God’s lense will give us hope and assurance that even if we don’t agree on the topic, the right thing to do is trust Him and He will make everything work out and give us grace in those situations! Thank you for sharing

    • Autumn C Duncan says:

      I agree with you that most of the time we view conflict as something bad and we are uncomfortable so we avoid it. I know thats how I was for a long time. I either avoided it or needed to prove that I was right. Thank goodness for the work the Lord has done in my life. I love how He changes us and helps us grow!

  • Alejandro Anchondo says:

    I really enjoyed this episode because it all comes down to humility and communication. When someone is humble they can sit down and lay it all out and as well let the other person lay it all out listening. Humility allows for the opportunity to have your mind changed, see the common ground, and approach the brother in Christ with love. Communication allows for you to focus on biblical views rather than opinions that may not be informed. The answer Pastor Jeff gave was further bible study to inform us and allow for us to have biblical views and not just opinions. This will make it easier for us to fellowship through the conflict.

    • Melissa Hermosillo says:

      Yes! Communication is key. Many times we think because we christians, we can’t speak out because we think it might come off as rude or offensive but we must learn to use the gift God has given us of communication and ask Him to give us the words and wisdom to speak out. If we don’t it just creates a culture of resentment , gossip and passive aggression. I believe God much rather us talk , communicate with each other and resolve issues that way.

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      Hi Alejandro,

      Amen. Being humble is essential for us To be able to communicate and also listen. Great points. If our goal is restoration rather than winning an argument, we are likely on the right track.
      It’s important to communicate. Often times we tend to assume what a person’s motivation is, rather than let the person explain their perspective more fully to us. Then of course, as you stated, we compare it to scripture

    • Sari Sue says:

      Alejandro, I agree that humility is the key. It is very HARD to admit our failures but when we obey, God gives us strength and peace. If we cannot muster up the humility, we can’t complete the process. I saw this today with a student. She apologized, the other child forgave her, but then she continued to make excuses and blame the other girl. It seemed ridiculous to me but how often do we (adults) do the same thing?

  • Melissa Hermosillo says:

    I have never hear of someone talk about finding the things you do agree on. I love that! There are so many things that we can keep disagreeing on during an argument, but if we keep talking on those, nothing will ever be resolved, it is just two people trying to prove a point that the other will not see. If we approach an argument with enough humility, we can try and find at least ONE thing that both can agree on, even if it is the simplest thing. Starting from there will always be better and more efficient than never agreeing on anything. I pray God gives us the humility and grace we need in the midst of those moments so we can remember that the end goal is never to win an argument, but to win the person we are arguing with and move past those moments of conflict with grace, forgiveness and love.

    • Autumn C Duncan says:

      I completely agree with your statement about finding something that you agree on….never thought of that before! Its a great starting place to maintane the relationship!

    • Charlie Colleton says:

      I am right there with you and Autumn! That was a great take away from this podcast — we are always so quick to constantly focus on the negative and the other persons wrong doings/thinkings. Such a solid reminder.

  • Charlie Colleton says:

    Once again another solid podcast! Looking at the steps that Pastor Jeff laid out for us has me really wishing that we would see this more often in our interactions, not just our confrontations, with other believers. I also believe that this is a great discussion to go over in a staff meeting, if there are issues/have been issues or perhaps even just preventative, this is a wonderful step by step process. Self-evaluation in any situation is really important, and a great practice of humility–what have I done in this scenario, in what ways have I added to the problem in perhaps a negative way, is there sin that I need to seek forgiveness for. If we are not willing to start there, than we really aren’t willing to allow the Lord to do a work!

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      I agree Charlie that self-evaluation is very important and it sets us on probably a path towards the best outcome. If we are not willing to analyze ourselves and see if we have had sin in this circumstance, it’s probably not right for us to expect the other person to accept our judgment on him or her.

  • Autumn C Duncan says:

    Another applicable podcast to preserve relationships with fellow believers. I appreciate the simple step-by-step outline Pastor Jeff shared. I truly believe that if we treated others like this so many relationships would be preserved. Its also a powerful message for people in leadership. If the heart of the person who was needing to confront someone in this manner, there would even be less hurt from church leadership and a good example of how to handle confrontation biblically. As we seek the Holy Spirit, He will guide our words and help us reach the other person. I know that its something I can’t do without Him!

    • Kristie Gallagher says:

      I agree Autumn this especially should be done with leadership. If they lead by a humble example others would easily follow. It is usually our pride that makes us want to be right, but we should be willing to yield to others.

  • Tabitha Lee says:

    I wanted to give an overview of the points that Jeff made in this Podcast. This is an area that every believer should be trained in. There are so many hurtful situations that should have been resolved early and biblically.
    Confess and seek forgiveness for any sinful words that may have been involved. Don’t over-complicate or escalate the issue. Look and express the nature of the problem distinctly, use a white board. Find a common ground, what do you agree on? What does God’s Word say on the issue? Ask God to give biblical direction, what does God have to say? Be willing to yield, adjust and be teachable. If you cannot come to a resolution, get a mediator. This person will help resolve what we cannot resolve on our own.
    I have had a difficult situation like this happen this week! The Lord always teaches us as we have the need. The situation is still playing itself out, but praying and trusting the Lord as I follow His Word and direction.

    • Sari Sue says:

      Tabitha, As I listened to this podcast and specifically as Jeff explained that we should (of course) consult the Bible about the issue, I thought of a few people I know who have a difference of opinion about alcohol. (They haven’t come to conflict over it but I just thought it was a good comparison to what Jeff was talking about.) If they both searched what the Bible says, it would say that being drunk is a sin. So one person has very strong convictions that alcohol has no place in a Christian’s life and the other believes that it is okay to have an occasional drink with dinner but that the sin enters when drunkenness does (or causing a brother to stumble). I just considered that they both have legitimate convictions that are biblical but their conflict remains.

      • Tabitha Lee says:

        That is interesting! I have worked with teens for years and have had to do research in that area so that I could give an answer. I recently read a post where a the person I am following was asked about his stance on alcohol in a Christians life, he had two remarks. 1. Don’t use it as a crutch. and 2. Don’t get drunk. Ha! I thought simple and to the point. Clearly in ministry we are faced with a higher standard, and it is not so simple as the world and the church is looking on. But I do agree with him as I do not see alcohol as sin unless it is abused.
        I realize you brought this up as a comparison to conflict issues with Christians. It is obvious that there can be difference of opinion that could cause fellow believers to disagree.

    • Erin Knorr says:

      Great post, I could not agree more with you that every believer should have an understanding on how to maneuver difficult conversations or conflict between believers. As I am sure everyone is aware of, conflicts happen in the church all the time, because the church is filled with imperfect people. So often listening to these podcasts something that is brought up a lot is how we have to be so ready to forgive and also ask for forgiveness. I love how you brought up to not over-complicate or escalate the issue.

  • Erin Knorr says:

    A great podcast, I personally never heard how resolve a conflict between righteousness issues. (For example would these issues be more theological differences?) 

    I really appreciated the aspect that Pastor Jeff said that we need to be quick to listen and be willing to adjust your viewpoint. So often I find myself, dismissing something because I do not necessarily agree with it, but it is important to see their side of the view. It is essential that we have open ears ready to listen and a willingness to be open-hearted. I loved that he brought up the fact that we need to bring it back to common ground, to show both parties that they can agree on something. Also to let God speak into the matter and ask for His wisdom, His Will and Mind. Paul exhorts us to be like the Berea’s and search the scriptures for truth.

    • Kia Jackson says:

      Hi Erin! You make a great point. I had never heard of this before the episode but really appreciated how the solutions were laid out. I am very similar in trying to dismiss situations, but we have to be willing to hear the other person we are having a conflict with. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alejandro Anchondo says:

      Isn’t true that we need to find common ground? So many Christians are out there debating, fighting or even dividing because differences.
      I think Erin that it definitely applies to doctrinal issues but also issues on approach, style and liberties. Some Christians are adamant about hymns only, or have strong convictions on Tattoos. These are places I think Pastor Jeffs words can help.

  • Pablo Valdez Acosta says:

    What an important message that continues to be the lessons from God to me, Die to Self.
    Recently I had a discussion that went sideways with my wife and caused strife, after speaking to accountability brothers one of them rose up and said:
    take responsibility for your one percent and apologize for that, you may not get the other person to acknowledge and even apologize but we are called to die to live to serve and be humble to turn the other cheek.
    Thank you again Jeff for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak into us.

    • Kristie Gallagher says:

      It is so important that we do apologize for the wrong that we do. Christ has called us to die to ourselves. That is our will and desires for self. It is about trusting Him to work in us and to work in the other person. One of the greatest lessons that I learned is when I had to forgive someone for hurting me knowing that they would never apologize to me. God was faithful to restore our relationship and to heal my hurt.

    • Tabitha Lee says:

      My teenage son experienced the very same situation this week with our Youth Pastor. As I was learning this week, so I was also teaching! My son apologized for his part, and the youth pastor did not. As a mom I was proud of him for apologizing and not so happy with the other party. We prayed and discussed the situation. We decided that there were two options, to confront again or to forgive and move forward. The next day my son chose to simply forgive and move forward. Some arguments are not worth the fight and the additional pain. We all mess up and sometimes we don’t take responsibility for our part. Oh that I may learn and my son may learn at a young age to always apologize for our part, even if it is 1%. The church would be so much healthier.

  • Sari Sue says:

    I like and agree with Jeff’s comments about the flesh. The flesh is so destructive…which in turn reveals how much we need grace and mercy. Of the few different types of conflict, and all the various scenarios, the flesh will totally thwart the resolution. We desperately need God’s Spirit to be in control with the flesh yielded and surrendered.
    Also, I was intrigued by the steps we should take. I think it is so important to get to that step where we have to take an honest, humble look at ourselves and decide when we need to fess up and apologize. Sometimes the divisions between us simply melt (even when the disagreement still exists) simply because one of the two parties gets humble and loving.

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