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What You'll Discover in this Episode:
141: Conflict Resolution God's Way
Hindrances to Resolution
Conflict resolution is an important part of your counseling ministry. When a conflict happens, there’s a temptation to respond inappropriately. We want to learn more to respond biblically.
Always remember, change comes by the power of God. You can find people who want to force legalistic pressure upon you or onto the people we are trying to help. But it must be the work of the Holy Spirit. Give room for the Holy Spirit to work. A lot of times, prayer is what God is calling you to do in response. Pray that God by His spirit will bring sanctification and resolution.
There are chapters in the Bible that teaches a lot of truth on how to handle conflict: what to do and what not to do, right responses versus sinful responses. It’s important that we go through these as we are training to be biblical counselors.
God gives a list of fleshly, sinful behavior we should avoid as Christian and a list of behaviors we should exhibit as Christians. There are short passages in the Scriptures which are an extensive list of conflicts we can curate and look at the different dynamics of relationships (church, work, home life).
We know that we cannot produce a Godly life on our own. In terms of conflict, it must source with God above working upon us, in us and through us.
Remember, this is not a list of rules. We have a relationship and not a rules-based relationship with the Lord. Read these often. Be familiar with them and be practical about them as you work through conflicts.
4 sections of scripture a biblical counselor should be aware of:
As a biblical counselor, your number one place to be equipped is in the Word of God. You’ll be surprised at what it will do to revolutionize your discipleship and counseling.
- Learn God’s word
- Drawing near to God yourself
- Walk in the great benefits of a relationship with God
This will turn into an ability to help others.
Listen to the full episode and join the discussion in our community section. Tell us your thoughts and let us grow together in God’s grace.
Biblical Response Verses Covered in this Episode
- Ephesians 4:1- have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.
- Ephesians 4:2- with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.
- Ephesians 4:3- endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- Ephesians 4:15- but, speaking the truth in love
- Ephesians 4:16- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies
- Ephesians 4:24- and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
- Ephesians 5:1- be followers of God as dear children.
- Ephesians 5:2- walk in love
- Ephesians 5:21- submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Unbiblical Response Verses Covered in this Episode:
- Ephesians 4:3- Disunity: we should endeavor to keep unity in the body, and to keep bonded together in peace.
- Ephesians 4:14- that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
- Ephesians 4:17-20- no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk...having given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness…
- Ephesians 4:22- that you put off, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
- Ephesians 4:25- put away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,"
- Ephesians 4:26-27- "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
- Ephesians 4:28- Let him who stole steal no longer,
- Ephesians 4:29- Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification
- Ephesians 4:30- do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God
- Ephesians 4:31-32- Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Wow – so much was unpacked in this episode where to begin.
I often have expressed a ready heart of mercy and forgiveness – I think the Lord has given me such a gift of His character in that way, I want to give mercy and forgiveness because if it was me in that situation, I would die without mercy and forgiveness! (not literally, but you understand.) It did bring up a good question however: How well do I do with confrontation? I think I know myself somewhat well enough to know I will be stubborn for about 5 minutes and then play my dramatic sob story and then hopefully and eventually realize “Yeah, you’re right, I’ve sinned against God and you.”
The passages shared today were a great edification for me to be reminded of, to know the way in which I ought to walk in light of God’s mercy, full of fear of God, and compassion and humility towards others.
This cancel culture is evil! I got caught up in it with some friends and family on Facebook. I was the one being canceled. They were all not Christians. I’m afraid my initial reaction was of hurt and anger, I wanted to blast them back. After going to my husband and praying with him about it, God gave me a biblical, loving, gentle response. A few months later I stopped using FB and Messenger. So I guess you could say that I do have a tendency to react unbiblically at first at times. It’s something that I am constantly trying to give to the Holy Spirit to help me with. I like the challenge to read over many times the 4 scriptures Jeff gave us to get familiar with.
There is soooo much here to choose from it’s hard to narrow it down. However, I’d like to briefly discuss 2 areas that have been invaluable to me in my biblical counseling experience. First, is what jeff alluded to as avoiding the usurpation of the Holy Spirit’s role. I tend to be more directive in my counseling style and need to consciously avoid “telling” or giving prescriptive lists, or appear to be formulaic in my approach to any presenting problem. Second, is what I refer to as my default position for many relational problems, found in Eph 4:15. I find that most people naturally gravitate toward either Truth or love in the relationships they value. Both on there own have pitfalls, but like many truths in scripture these virtues must be exercised in balance, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on an interpersonal basis. Jesus Himself was FULL of BOTH “Grace and Truth” – Jn 1:14.
Talking about the Woke culture, I am reminded that In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus spoke to the religious leaders that were caught up in obeying the rules, but seemed to have forgotten about love and grace. I don’t know maybe this is where the Woke culture is going?
Matt (22:36) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (22:37) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (22:38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (22:39) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
If all the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments about love, then maybe we should view the commandments as “how to live in love” and remember to always live out of a heart of love. This is counter to the counter culture.
As we read these chapters about putting on and putty off, I agree we will be transformed by asking ourselves if we are guilty of these things.
I really appreciated the acknowledgement and call to unity in spite of controversial topics. Too often we see new churches being planted due to conflict and disagreements which could and should be resolved in prayerful, humble discussion. And this goes for christian homes as well. Where the world cuts ties in disagreement, we should be engaging and becoming unified in Christ. Do we have to agree about everything? No. But, those disagreements should not be allowed to divide us. If we are believers and can agree on the fundamental truths of the gospel, all else is inconsequential by comparison.
Agreed! We must have unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials and charity in ALL things. Let the MAIN thing REMAIN the MAIN thing….Let us not major on the minors Matt. 7:5
We have allowed the flesh to permeate the church and especially as Covid and other issues in society are trying to divide us as brothers and sisters (as noted in this podcast). The most important aspect is that we remain humble and remember that these battles belong to the Lord. We must use wisdom with respect to what issues we take up and how we handle them. Our beliefs and worship are based upon Scripture. We can measure the issues and our response against the Word of God which Jeff is doing in this exercise. We are united in God not divided and we need to do what we can to ensure sound biblical doctrine and unity within the body through patience, love and humility. Much of the division and issues are based upon a hatred for truth. We must ensure we do not get caught up in this hatred.
Rick, this is so true and important. In the midst of all this craziness, our unity should cause others to question their own disbelief. How many times have we all seen division due to petty disagreements, or entire church communities fall apart because of pride. It is up to each of us to take up humility and pursue resolution while holding true to scripture.
Cancel culture is prevalent in the world today. In cancel culture, people are ostracized for a mistake they made, even if it happened decades ago. Cancel culture doesn’t allow people to grow or learn from their mistakes. Once you’ve done something wrong, you can never be redeemed. All of this seems harsh and unreasonable.
Pastor Jeff spoke about the mistake of withholding forgiveness because you need to see proof of change. While, this is nowhere near the level of scrutiny that cancel culture puts on people, it still isn’t what God calls us to do. As Pastor Jeff referenced in Galatians 6:1 “if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back on the right path.” This is not how the world would ever treat someone who did wrong, but it’s how the Lord does.
This is absolutely spot on Vanessa! It has been difficult seeing the cancel culture expand so rapidly and ruthlessly over the past several years. And even harder to see many who call themselves christians jump on board in agreement. While many of these individuals who are caught up or are the subject of the cancellation may genuinely have done or said the things they are accused of, we should be the ones calling for reconciliation and redemption. Not becoming an echo of the rabble calling for their defaming and de-platforming.
I’m in agreement, Vanessa. This cancel culture is evil. I’ve watched it work it’s evil in couples that eventually divorce. But it doesn’t stop after the divorce. And it’s in our youth groups as well.
I agree that it is just such an embarrassment to let our pride cause us to fall into needless conflict. When I read about Saul in the book of Samuel, his mixture of fear and pride in his character I am upset at the parallels that I see in myself. His uncertainty in his ability to lead and caving to the demands of the people over the will of God, which lead to his conquest to save his title, position and reputation. As if all of his decisions were based of what other people thought of him. This obsession with self image and the eyes of the world should not have a place in our lives, and for me, when my heart inclines to this I am much more entrenched in needless conflict. When I make everything about “me” how could I ever be wrong. Putting off my old self and putting on what I see in Jesus is so much more of a satisfying life. Walking in this nearness to Christ allows for us to only engage in conflicts that are worth fighting, and when we fight as ambassadors we can do the will of God and face opposition with joy.
Obsession with self. Yep I hear you Dean I too go towards pointless conflict because of self. Sounds like the garden where a desire to exalt self lead to so much conflict. Personally I confess it must be a lack of faith to trust the Lord to defend me His way instead of being very quick to push for my own ‘rights’. Holy Spirit help!
I have learned a lot from these Ephesian passages before, particularly chapter 4. Ephesian 4:2 in the New Living Translation says this “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” It is hard to hold a grudge and be in conflict when practicing being humble, gentle, and patient.
Chad, I have found God humbling me in so many situations when I tend to have anger toward another. Regardless of the circumstance we need to see things from their point of view and not wrapped around our own self righteousness, making the circumstance about ourselves rather than elevating the root of the conflict. Being the more mature one asking for forgiveness.
Great comments. I appreciate your honesty about anger in a given situation. I also find myself lacking at times in this area. The basis of anger is pride. Jesus took sin (anger and lust, for example), to a new level in His Kingdom. He teaches us in Matthew that a man lusting after a woman, even though he hasn’t acted out is the same as committing adultery. Getting angry at our brother is the same as murder. This explains how important the condition of our heart is. Our sin begins in our hearts. It is where we decide to stop and repent or carry on through. But it becomes a decision. As believers in Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to make the right decision and chose humility instead of pride. Matthew 5:44-47 and James, especially chapters 1-3 also speaks to these issues.
When faced with a conflict, the easy thing to do is respond out of our flesh. I know for me I have done that and it didn’t go so well. Responded as Christ would respond, makes the conflict begin to soften, our Savior is one of Grace, Kindness, and Love. HE is bold though. His Word is bold. The abundance of scripture to combat any conflict is something that I know I can rest in.
I too, have shamefully responded to conflict “out of the flesh”. Usually to those closes to me. I’ve sought forgiveness several times.
It is very hard to admit these things, but we are born of flesh. As future counselors, we can learn from our short comings and move on in faith and resting on HIS Word.
“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,” -Ephesians 4:14
This verse really pulled on my heart strings as we see so much false doctrine invade the the gospel, converting and or conforming it to ways of the world so we can be ” politically correct”. As we let societies agenda slowly let humanistic things become acceptable, we allow the enemy to get a foothold in our spiritual walk too. I need to be in prayer over the church and the nation. Abiding in Him putting down our own opinion because we are just as equally full of pride and hypocritical. The more we pay attention to our intake and and what comes out of our self, the more God is going to reveal to us the things that are displeasing. I loved how Jeff spoke of, “you cannot put off the old without replacing the new”, and the encouragement we have in the Lord by His Spirit.
Amen. A call to maturity. To grow up in the things of God. How many times do I need to be reminded that the Devil loves disunity among believers ;-(
I am thankful for the exhortation from Pastor Jeff regarding how we should habitually respond to conflict spiritually. We are told in Ephesians 6:12 that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
I know that The Lord has shown me that I often forget that aforementioned truth, especially when I have gone through conflict with someone. My initial response oftentimes is that I am being personally attacked, which leads me to become defensive, and speaking before praying about the situation. I have recently began praying every morning that God would clothe me with His armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:14-17, and He has shown up mightily.
I too am thankful for the insights of Pastor Jeff. A joy to listen which to makes it easier to learn.
I think that is key in the onset of a conflict, is not taking an insult personally and trying to really listen to them and understand them, being longsuffering in the heat of the moment. It is amazing the difference in response we can have when we put the ball in Gods court and choose to not get even.
This was a really good Podcast for me. A reminder of what Ephesians says. I am often critical of others, sometimes only in my mind. But still, it’s wrong. I need a “renewing ” of my mind. I like what was said about rules vs relationship. Putting off the old, putting on the new. The other issue about our churches being divided is so true. We as Christians are allowing the enemy to use Covid for division in the church. How sad. We see it all the time. I pray for humility and grace throughout the church. Thank you Jeff for your insight.
Velma, I love how you mentioned needing the renewing of your mind. I also am aware of how I need the Lord to renew my mind. One of the things that I’ve noticed with the division in the church is that we have allowed the enemy to get our focus on an issue rather on each other, and when we disagree, people become our enemy. It is sad! I will join you in praying for humility and grace throughout the church.
I can also find myself judging others for no reason. What a basis of pride for me to fall into that trap! It is a struggle that I must continue to relinquish to the Lord because the harder I try not too, the more I do it.
Very convicting. I was just praying about my own anger this morning and for better ways to respond.
Wonderful that the word of God provides the solution the “put on” and that He gives us the grace to actually walk in His truth. So true the development of new Godly habits is not a work of the flesh.
Having a powerful prayer life is key to walking in the new man and putting off the old man. This message encouraged me to be in prayer first thing in the morning before I even begin my day and that God would empower me to put on that new creation and put off the old tendencies.
Ann-Louise, I also really love the “put on” that the Bible gives. I hadn’t thought about it to deeply before listening to the podcast. The Bible gives the replacements for sins: don’t use fool language, instead say things that are good and helpful, just to name one.I hadn’t consider how important it is to replace fleshy acts with acts pleasing to the Lord and that spiritual growth will occur in a greater capacity when you “put-on”.
This podcast hit me at the exact moment I really needed to hear it, and be reminded of how I need to walk. It is embarrassing to say, but I tend to be more patient with those at church, and watch my response to church family, but I am too quick to respond when it comes to the workplace. The Lord has really impressed upon my heart that I need to not be quick to respond with fellow teachers and administration, but first of all pray over my situation, and then speak with the individual once I have had my time with the Lord. It hurts my witness to those in the world, when I act just like them. Why do I expect them to act like my Christian brothers and sisters? Lord change me, and help me to respond as You would. Thank you for this message Pastor Jeff.
Angela your comment about prayer really hit home. Prayer makes a huge difference before we face a difficult task or any task for that matter.
No no one after the flesh. I think I have the opposite problem Angela. I over expect from Christians and think they know how to behave so they should ! Truth is I have to ask myself what’s my walk like. Oh dear. I can see this course is going to be very humbling. 🙂
I am the exact opposite when it comes to response. I usually have a bit more grace and mercy with others around me who do not know Christ but can be quick to be judgemental to a believer who “should know better”. Holding them in certain level of regard of accountability, this is where I struggle and need the Lord to work on me. Humbling myself and making sure my heart and spirit are align with the Lord’s.
Sarah, I have the same issue. But I think we do need to hold other Christians to a certain level of accountability. I believe it is important to understand when we should do it and how. I want others to hold me accountable if I am not responding to a situation in a Christ like matter. It is important for all of us as Christians to give permission to other Christians in our lives to hold us accountable.
At the beginning of the Podcast Pastor Jeff mentioned that when the things of this world have put pressure on him he may not react the way he should in some circumstances. We are human and I think everyone has found themselves in that situation. I know when I am not focused on Him and instead I am focused on this world my reactions are sometimes not what I want them to be. When I have sinned in my anger for whatever reason Ephesians 5:26-27 tells me what I am to do. I am to humble myself and seek reconciliation. I truly believe that by humbling my self and asking for forgiveness we can build a better relationship then we had before. Philippians 2:1-5, helps me with my attitude during any conflict resolution when I am wrong and even when I think I may have done nothing wrong.
Donald, humbling is definitely the word. It is so easy at times to let that human nature take over, and to be easily offended and respond in the incorrect manner. I agree with you, that when I am not focused on God, it is easy to let my reactions be like the world, and I do not want to live that way.
Yes Donald humility is so important, but my flesh doesn’t like it. But the truth is I need to ask myself what’s at stake and the word of God states that unity of the Spirit is the priority not my pride. Praise God for the strength to do want He requires. 🙂
It is fantastic to walk humbly through life, not to say that I have that down by any means. I have known some truly humble men growing up in life, and their demeanor has left an impression on my heart, to see someone living life with such a genuine thankfulness to God for the smallest of things is just something that cannot be replicated with insincere motives. Our pride as mankind sends us into so many useless conflicts because we are to focused on our image our reputation and work of our hands when all this can be avoided with humility and thankfulness to God.
Donald, I appreciate what you said about how humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness can build a better relationship than you had before. We all are imperfect people and will need forgiveness from others. Asking for forgiveness demonstrates humility and sets apart the believers from non-believers.