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002: Humility – The Prerequisite to Conflict Resolution

Humility - The Prerequisite to Conflict Resolution

Everyone has experienced the unpleasantness of conflict. We know from Scripture that conflict is a result of the fall. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, the effects of their rebellion infiltrated every corner of creation. Human relationships destined for peace and harmony are now marked by conflict. Humans have conflicts stemming from hatred, lust, lies, and covetous desire in their hearts. But what if there was a way to ensure that conflicts could be prevented before they happened? 

In this week’s episode of the Biblical Counseling Podcast, pastor Jeff Christianson discusses a secret ingredient to preventing conflict, humility. Christians know that humility is the opposite of pride. Where pride centers a person’s preoccupations around his or her wants, desires, and needs, humility centers a person around God’s Word and revealed will. As Christians walk in humility, they submit to God’s Word and receive grace from God. James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 

Do you want to see evidence of God’s grace in your life? Walk in humility. 

The best way to glorify God in conflict is to prevent conflict before it happens. In that same passage, James reveals the reason for the conflicts we see in the world today. James 4:1-6 describes how fights and quarrels arise from conflicting desires. If we want to prevent conflicts before they happen, we must order our desires to God’s revealed will. When we are tempted toward selfishness and self-absorption, elevating the importance of our own desires above others, we are setting ourselves up for conflicts. If we want to short-circuit potential conflicts, we must walk in love with other people. 

Many times conflicts erupt in situations involving authority and submission. Christians respect authority since they know that all authority is established by God. When Christians rebel or fight against authority, they are fighting against God and his purposes. Christians must walk in humility and focus on cultivating a healthy respect for authority. 

Finally, here is a vital component of humility: humility is prone to listen and to understand the opposing side. A person with humility will recognize that he or she lacks all the necessary information about any situation and may be wrong. If a Christian realizes that he is on the wrong side of an argument, he must be ready to repent and restore the relationship. As Christians practice humility and experience suffering in a vicious world, they know that they are on God’s side, since God sides with the humble.

What You'll Discover in this Episode:

  • Advice on cultivating humility with authority
  • How humility applies to church contexts and church leadership
  • Humility recognizes: God is in control of the achievements of my life, and they are not primarily dependent upon myself.
  • Humility frees us! It realizes, God is in control of our lives and achievements, so we can rest. 
  • Two great commandments: 1st: Love the Lord with all our heart and the 2nd: Love our neighbor as yourself.
  • A big sign of a person’s level of Humility is their level of contentment.
  • Humility serves others. In Jesus's example in Philippians 2, he came as a servant, and made Himself of no reputation, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life. 


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  • Lisa Potter says:

    This one hits me right between the eyes. In a good way. God is showing me the difference between true humility and just cutting myself down, or looking at everything as to how it affects me. The focus is still on myself and I’ve historically seen the cutting myself down as humility. I really appreciate the idea of daily habits of humility, asking the Lord to see myself thru the eyes on Jesus and purposely turning from my pride. I also see the need to ask Him to reveal to me hidden areas of pride and self focus since we can be so blind to our own sin.

  • Yvonne Howe says:

    I am grateful for the reminder of Ephesians 4:1-2, “As a prisoner for the Lord, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love.” The words completely humble and gentle stand out to me. I want this to be fully who I am not who I want to be. I am asking the Lord for His help to daily practice these habits of humility.

  • Lorna Usery says:

    I agree, humility is very important. One thing I have found is people find a humble person to be more approachable. (Phil 2:3)

  • Joycelyn Hoyte says:

    This is an essential ingredient for all of Gods children. I need this reminder to follow the example of my Lord Jesus to be humble. I know God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. I need grace so I pray God help me follow the Biblical path of humility.

  • Renee Stone says:

    This lesson was extremely helpful in my walk with God. That I walk in humility to stay in His will. Keep me humble Lord Jesus. I really learned a valuable lesson. Thank you

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