013: Three Types of Conflict


Three Types of Conflict

Everyone knows what a conflict looks like. Yelling, arguing, cold shoulders, furrowed eyebrows. Yet, Christians know that different conflicts have different shapes. As we approach Scripture, God instructs different approaches to certain conflicts rather than others. How can we discern between different conflicts we may see in the church? 

In this week’s episode of the Biblical Counseling Podcast, Pastor Jeff Christianson and Jennie Christianson overview three types of conflict biblical counselors will face. These classifications are important since a certain type of conflict needs a specific response. If we treat conflicts over differences as conflicts over sin, we are misapplying Scripture and hurting our brother or sister in Christ. Different types of conflict stem from different heart issues and need varying responses.  

Scripture identifies three types of conflicts: conflicts of differentness, conflicts of sin, and conflicts of righteousness or rightness. Conflicts of differentness arise from situations where personal differences cause tension. Every person is unique. At times, my differences strike your differences and conflict erupts. The source of conflict is not sin, but differences. Other conflicts stem from sin. One brother or sister has engaged in sin which is forbidden by Scripture. Conflicts also arise from rightness or righteousness. With this type of conflict, Christians disagree about convictions from biblical principles. 

Scripture shows us that the proper response to conflicts over differentness is always forbearance. Whenever I have a conflict with you over a difference of personality, God always calls me to bear with you and defer to you. At times people have different tastes or preferences. They want certain things done this way rather than that way. In these situations, our responsibility is to yield to how God has created the other person. Struggles to yield to our brother or sister in matters of differentness reveal a heart rooted in pride, where we are more concerned about “insisting on its own way” (1 Cor 13:5), than demonstrating love toward others. 

Want to learn more? Listen to this podcast to hear Pastor Jeff and Jennie address:

  • The three different types of conflict
  • How to determine a conflict of differentness
  • Solutions to conflicts of differentness

What You'll Discover in this Episode:

  • Conflicts Resulting from differentness  
  • Resolving differentness issues 
  • Forbearance- Simplicity of a willingness to yield to the wishes of another
  • Responding to differentness issues 


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  • Kia Jackson says:

    Hello! My name is Kia and I am the new community manager for the biblical counseling podcast. On behalf on Pastor Jeff, I listened to the podcasts and these are some of my key takeaways- To not go after people in a legalistic way because it is bounding. But rather hover with grace and mercy. This is beautiful. I truly believe in showing people grace and mercy and all while having a forgiving spirit. Also, we do not need man’s way to resolve conflict. Everything we need to deal with conflict in a superior way has been written and given to us in the bible. Finally, forbearance! It is very humbling to take a step back and be able to control oneself without having to confront an issue that’s distasteful to us. Walking in the spirit changes everything! I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this episode. Share below! 🙂

    • jeffchristianson says:

      Hello, Kia!! Welcome to the community. You are such a breath of fresh air to the group 🙂 I am looking forward to serving the Lord together in this venture of faith! Jeff

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