74: Conflict Resolution God’s Way


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What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Conflict Resolution God's Way


How to Resolve Conflict God's Way


  1. Conflict happens often in the Christian life.
  1. God’s Word is sufficient to give us answers and direction.
  1. At the end of this seminar, you will be equipped to resolve conflict God's Way.
  1. What you will discover: 
    1. Prerequisites to Becoming a Conflict Resolver
    2. Three Types and the Biblical Solutions
      1. Personality and Conflict
      2. Convictions and Conflict
      3. Sin and Conflict
  1. The Power to be an Effective Conflict Resolver
  2. Next Steps 

Prerequisites to Conflict Resolution


There is a passage of Scripture that, when violated, produces virtually every kind of interpersonal conflict. 

When the people I counsel have serious difficulties resolving their differences, before I even start exploring their backgrounds I know that at least one of them is out of sync with this passage of Scripture. 


It’s Ephesians 4:1–3.


Four character traits listed in this passage are essential to conflict resolution. 


“Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance [forbearance] for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 


The very last line of this passage is sort of a summary statement of the entire sentence. It is an imperative—a command that we are to obey. 


The Holy Spirit, through the pen of the apostle Paul, is giving us a very important directive: “make every effort,” He says, “to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” 


What precedes this summary statement are the four prerequisites: humility, gentleness, patience, and loving forbearance. 


THREE TYPES OF CONFLICTS

“Biblical Principles of Conflict Resolution”


  1. Personality and Conflict 
  2. Convictions and Conflict 
  3. Sin and Conflict

Personality and Conflict

  • God made individuals uniquely different, but this sometimes cause conflicts in a world cursed by sin 
  • Acts 15:39, “sharp disagreement” is not attributed to either’s sinful actions, attitudes, or motives
  • Philippians 4:2, Euodia and Syntyche were both exhorted “to live in harmony in the Lord”
  • Conflicts were result of issues that were not sinful 

Convictions and Conflict

  • Occurs when individuals have different views of what the Bible really says about a matter 
  • Romans 14 (between stronger and weaker brothers) 

Sin and Conflict

  • Most common form of conflict 
  • Human conflicts caused by sin 
  • Gen 4:1-16 (Cain and Abel), Gen 13 (Abraham and Lot), 1 Sam. 1-26 (David and Saul), Jesus and the money changers (Mark 11:15-18), Paul and Peter (Gal 2:13-14), John and Diotrephes (3 John 9-10) 
  • We are given specific directions about initiating confrontation with someone who sins against us

THREE DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS


FORBEARANCE (Personality and Conflict) - each party must learn to put up with those idiosyncratic differences that he finds tedious or irksome about the other, when they are not the issues of sin. 

STUDY OF THE BIBLE (Convictions and Conflict) - both parties must study what the Scriptures (in their entirety) teach concerning the issue about which they disagree. 

REPENTANCE OR CHANGE (Sin and Conflict) - conflict will not be resolved apart from the sinning individual agreeing to repent of his sin 


Note: Sometimes these categories overlap each other. Implementing two or more of the solutions will be necessary to resolve the conflict 


Forbearance (Personality and conflict)

  • Seeks to put the other person’s interests ahead of one’s own
  • Dies to self (and to one’s own desire and expectations) 
  • Willing to yield to the wishes of another and to put up with differences of opinion and annoying idiosyncrasies for love’s sake and for the cause of Christ
  • Discussing the matter to see if a compromise may be reached (to determine swing issue and fire issue) 

Guidelines for talking to other Christians about your personality

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” 

  1. Remind yourself that God made the other person with his own unique personality for His own purpose. 
    1. 2 Cor. 10:12, “But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
    2. Guard your heart against making harsh judgments of others
  2. Guard against legalistic and judgmental attitudes that raise non-sin issues to the level of sin 
  3. Focus more on the interests of the other person than your own interest (Phil 2:3-4
  4. Be reasonable (willing to yield to the views and desires of others) 
  5. Be willing to put with annoying traits of others
  6. Try to determine for whom it is a “swing” issue and for whom it’s a “fire” issue 
  7. Allow the peace of Christ to be the referee of the conflict (Col 3:15

Convictions and conflict

  • Righteousness conflict - parental conflicts 
  • Basic solution - Bible study, investigate the Scriptures in its totality concerning the matter about which they disagree

Guidelines to talking to other Christians about convictions

  1. Confess and seek forgiveness for sinful words, actions or attitudes (James 5:16
  2. Try to express the problem from both perspectives (Prov 18:2
  3. Determine what things can be agreed upon 
    1. There may be more than one way to solve this conflict biblically 
    2. God wants us to come to a resolution of this problem as quickly as possible without either one of us sinning 
    3. We both have a responsibility to “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
    4. If we cannot solve this problem between the two of us, we may have to seek the assistance of another (mature) Christian
  4. Search the scriptures for any biblical directives and/or principles that relate to resolving issue (James 1:5

Sin and conflict

Correction of a sinning brother

  • “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3 
  • To rebuke is a command and not optional
  • We rebuke them in the hope that he repents and so we can offer to forgive him 

Restoration of a sinning brother

  • “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore  such a one in spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
    • Restore a sinning brother to a place of usefulness
    • Habitual sin 
    • Gentleness - do not talk to your brother about his isn when you are sinfully angry 
    • Matt. 7:3-5 

Winning your brother (or go and show)

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Matthew 18:15
  • Verb “go” - The initiative to resolve the matter is taken by the individual who has been offended (or at least who knows about the sin) 
  • Verb “show” - translated as convict, legal term to embody the idea of prosecuting a case against an individual so that he might be convicted for the crime that he had committed

Conviction of sin is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) and the Scripture (2 Tim 3:16

  • Matthew 18 make it clear that part of our role is to gently point out others’ sin and sometimes not too gently
  • Preaching the Word is one conviction of sin, convict (2 Tim 4:2) and rebuke (1 Tim 5:20

Conflict resolution principle: the rule of privacy, keeping the circle of confrontation as small as possible. (Prov 25:9-10)

  • Matthew 18:15-17, a healthy church protecting the privacy of every sinner in the family 

Purpose: to win or gain a brother. As a result of the confrontation, we win our brother over at our side 

Guidelines to talking to other Christians about their sin

  1. Get the beam out of your eye first (Matt 7:3-5)
  2. Be sure that the other has done really a sin (Luke 17:3
  3. Examine your motives
  4. Use biblical terminology when talking to others about their sin (1 Cor 2:13
  5. Choose the right time (Eccl 3:7
  6. Choose the right words (Prov 15:28), (Eccl 10:12
  7. Be sure that you maintain a gentle spirit throughout the discussion 

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER DURING CONFLICT WITH ANOTHER CHRISTIAN

  1. Have identified the problem in biblical terms?  1 Cor 2:13
  2. Are there any other directives in Scripture that we must obey in order to resolve this conflict?
  3. Are there any principles in Scripture from which a resolution to this conflict can be derived?
  4. Has anyone in Scripture ever faced the same (or similar) situation? Rom . 15:4
  5. In light of the newly discovered biblical data, propose what modifications you are willing to make in order to reach a mutually agreed solution 
  6. If the problem cannot be resolved in the period of time agreed upon by both of you in advance, seek the assistance of a “true yoke-fellow”

The Power to be an Effective Conflict Resolver

  • “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
  • Scroll down and leave your comment below!
  • The foundations and principles of counseling within the life of the church
  • Church life, COVID-19, and loving others through challenging times
  • 1 John 4:7 and how biblical counseling draws upon divine love in order to minister to
    others within the body of Christ

Resources:


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  • Abigail Burt says:

    I think so often in today’s society we ignore conflict and avoid confrontation. We are often so afraid of upsetting other people that instead of dealing with these issues, whether they stem from our own personality, convictions, or sins or another’s, we choose to bottle them up inside. This only creates a bitterness and anger that eventually explodes. It is so important to know how to deal with these problems so that we can be an example of Christs love. Confrontation doesn’t have to be messy. The solutions given in the podcast are Biblical and loving ways to express and resolve differences. Whether the conflict requires forbearance, Bible studying, or repentance to be resolved, each stems back to one thing. What is required is a change of heart. With forbearance we must learn patience and compassion. When studying we must be willing to humble ourselves to the truth. To repent, we must be able to recognize our sin and change direction. What needs to happen is an internal transformation that ultimately leads to harmony with others as we become closer to the image of Christ.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hello Abigail, I love what you wrote “What is required is a change of heart”. Thank you for reminding me of that. It is definitely true because the only way there can be any healing or restoration in conflict is by acknowledging our sin and our need for God. It is only through him that “change in the heart” can happen.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Abigail, I appreciated the breakdown of the three conflicts and solutions too. Your statement of not upsetting people is one of the compromises I think we do in ministry. In my most recent conflicts the Lord spoke to me was I fearing man or Him. This one of the turning points for me to pursue Biblical Counseling studies. So I can be better equipped to serve others. Thank you for sharing.

      • Audra Downs says:

        Melinda, thank you for sharing about “fearing man”. I have had to deal with my own heart recently in regards to fearing what someone was going to say. While it was pretty scary for me because the conflict was looming and the person is dominate and loud, I had to confront myself on who am I more afraid of? God or this person? The Lord literally carried me through the situation but I prayed the entire time and it ended up being resolved which I give God the glory for because left to me, it would have been a big mess.

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      I agree with what you said about avoiding confrontation because of fear for upsetting someone. That is a big one in my own life, as I try to tell myself “it’s okay” or “it’s not a big deal” but those emotions don’t get address in a healthy way and are “bottled up inside.” I couldn’t have worded the rest any better, thank you for sharing your insight about conflict and resolution.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      That used to be me avoid conflict and confrontation just keep everything in then something little that could of been addressed and handled turns out to be something really ugly. I agree with you when you say what is required is a change of heart. You can’t do anything in a loving way if your heart is full of anger, and bitterness it’ll only produce bad fruit. nothing in the image of Christ.

  • Audra Downs says:

    One of the results of Covid-19 is the sharp differences between Christians in our own communities and globally. I have been nonplussed by how strongly and vocally strident, fellow believers feel about issues such as masks or no masks or some of the social issues relevant now. I like this discussion because it is challenging me to realize that differences aren’t sin and we are called to forbear with each other and I love how God ups the ante, we are to put others interest above our own. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfishness or empty arrogance, instead let each of us regard the other as better than himself. Our witness loses it’s effectiveness when we put issues above relationships. We don’t have to agree with each other to love each other.

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      I hear what you are saying. I know the whole “mask” thing has become a huge runner for division within communities, and how people of every background has responded to it. It also stood out to me when he said “differences are not sin” and that put into perspective of how I respond to people and their differences, and putting issues above relationships is something I should be more aware of; thank you for sharing.

  • Ericka Tapia says:

    Resolving conflict definitely takes me out of my comfort zone. The breakdown of the types of conflict (personality, convictions, and sin) really help guide me on which approach to take to help resolve each one. I love the example of forbearance in a marriage. I apply it in my own marriage daily because there is many personality conflicts between us. Studying the Bible is excellent for convictions because my approach typically was agree to disagree without digging deeper to find truth. And finally, repentance, transformation, and change to deal with sin is by far the most uncomfortable one for me because I am overly careful to avoid being judgmental. I often take the approach of “love covers a multitude of sin”, which as I hear is OK but not on habitual sin. Rebuking with tenderness and love is an area that I must practice. Thank you Pastor Jeff for this, very timely, a true blessing for me at this moment.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hello Ericka, it is definitely easier just agreeing to disagree in marriage. I also find myself doing the same thing, just so it doesn’t lead to a disagreement. But, I found that only works for a little while because issues have needs to be addressed. Being able to resolve conflict in a Godly matter is the only way not to fall into ungodly patterns in our life and relationships. Thank you for sharing! Michelle

  • Michelle R says:

    This podcast on resolving conflict was very conflicting but refreshing. To know that there are steps that can help bring a resolution to a conflict that can be done in a Godly and humble attitude is definitely needed in the body of Christ. I have personally seen and experienced conflict in the church and it didn’t always lead to a Godly resolution. Which breaks my heart because of the fact the body of Christ should be the examples to the world how to bring healing to conflict. When we do not do conflict well it just leads to more frustrations which leads to bitterness and anger. We have to remember that “keeping the peace” is not making peace. In Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” making peace or being a peacemaker does involve confrontation which when done well can end in a loving and peaceful resolution. Thank you, Pastor Jeff for your guidance on how to be an effective conflict resolver.

    • Abigail Burt says:

      I love how you said, “We have to remember that ‘keeping the peace’ is not making peace” Sometimes we have to stir the water to clear away debris that may be floating in it. Relationships should grow, not stand still like stagnant water. Thank you for giving me a new perspective. I found it very helpful!

      • Rachel Henderson says:

        Wow! I hadn’t previously thought about the difference between “keeping the peace” and “making peace”. What a great point! I think of the saying, “sweep it under the rug”, and how we are sometimes taught to just let many issues “go” in hopes of not making the situation worse. Though there are petty and inconsequential issues that we might just need to see past in others, when it comes to more serious grievances it might be time to have a honest and loving conversation. Thank you for sharing your insight Michelle and Abigail!

    • David Bowman says:

      Michelle, thank you for sharing. I agree that too often we “keep the peace”, while we overlook issues that need to be confronted. When too much time elapses, it becomes increasingly difficult to address it without harsh consequences. I believe this loving type of confrontation must contain those pre-requisites listed in Ephesians 4:1-3. However, many well-meaning people attempt to resolve conflicts without humility, gentleness, and a desire for the brother/sister’s restoration. Too many want to appear right and not righteous.

      • Ericka Tapia says:

        That last sentence is right hits home. I have seen so many people so worried about being right that there attempt to be righteous was buried so deep in there rebuke. In the end it brought forth no resolution but instead further complicated things.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Right Michelle, peace makers are often looked on as week because they are not interested in standing up and fighting. But I’ll take being called a child of God any day of the week.

  • Melinda Evans says:

    I was encouraged and challenged as I listened to this podcast. First, I was encouraged as a parent to sit with my teenagers and search the scriptures together. I love the example of how different parents are to what is “acceptable” or not, but if I sit with them to search the scriptures. Then we can discuss and be equipped to make the decisions that are right in the sight of the Lord. Second, is the challenge of the mixture of two kinds of conflict personality and convictions. Serving in ministry we come in contact with different personalities that flow into convictions. I have served the past thirteen years with a loose hold on women’s ministry, but in serving that way. I have had three women throughout the years who love a more organized and very structured ministry. Unfortunately, each one has ended with heartache and loss. In this loss, we or I have learned to implement boundaries and accountability within the ministry. I will definitely be sharing this podcast with our women’s ministry team. Thank you!

    • Abigail Burt says:

      I love that you sit and study Scripture with your children. It is so encouraging to hear. As a teenager myself, I am so thankful I had parents who did so. Its not enough to tell your kid what they should and should not do. It’s imperative for them to know the reasoning behind it. That way, if there is conflict in the future, you both have common ground you can revert back to and agree on. Like Mr. Christianson says in the podcast, one of the resolutions is studying the Bible.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      Thanks for the idea of sitting with my son to study the scriptures. I must admit I was a “because I said so” or “because God says so” type parent. I will now take this approach and show him through the word where God says so. Thanks for this.

  • Kayla Tracy says:

    I like the points about Forbearance: dying to one’s self; putting other’s interests before your own; and being willing to yield to another; this really shows an act/behavior like that of Jesus.
    For me, I have a lot of “conviction” type conflicts, and I am never certain how to go about expressing what I think in a loving and gentle way. This podcast has helped me realize that I need to change my perspective to a Biblical perspective on my “convictions”, in order for me to discern what is of the Spirit or of the world, as 1 Cor. 2:12 states clearly “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God. . .”
    Concerning “personality” type convictions, the 1-10 scale is a practical image for me to clearly see and reason together with; I hope to use that when the time comes! And as a highly opinionated human, this message has reminded me to be humble and gentle, to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness so I can in turn, show others mercy and forgiveness as Col. 3:13-14 says “Bear with each other and forgive. . . put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
    When it comes to a “Sin conflict” I think it is important to rely on the Holy Spirit to know whether to let it pass, or to address the matter for correction and repentance. I am huge on “self examination” and appreciate the reminder to “look in the mirror” before evaluating and/or approaching the other person.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      That is why I used to avoid confrontation, because I did not know how to express myself in a loving and gentle way, I am learning know how to look at everything in a biblical perspective instead of looking at everything in the worldly view, so I can get my point across without sounding rude. I am learning to look at myself 1st and rely on the Holy Spirit to show me if I even need to address the matter.

  • Douglas Gehm says:

    I am grateful for the Scripture soaked approach in this podcast regarding this topic. I find this subject and the reality of conflict resolution to be one of the most practical ways discipleship and biblical truth impact my life personally. Sometimes that’s because so many Christians don’t know or go to these truths. Even as we make efforts to “help” a situation with the best of efforts and intentions.

    I have watched countless situations at my work where the simple directives of Matthew 18 alone would have brought healing and understanding. Instead, many times we choose to make our own way with our personality, convictions, and sin attempting to be a balm of our own making.

    Biblical literacy is essential, and the Biblical practice of these truths is indispensable. I particularly appreciate the mentioned dynamic of private confrontation. I have been on the receiving end of that gift when I have been misunderstood and I have been wronged on the other side as well. It means so much to me personally when someone will come and speak to me about an issue before speaking with others. It is a practical path to show grace and love.

  • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

    This topic came at the perfect time. I personally try to avoid conflict at all costs, but recently there have been several conflicts that I’ve had to deal with so I am very grateful for this message. There is something about everyone’s personality that can rub you the wrong way. When that happens it can be so easy to forget our own quirks and assume we are perfect. It is always a humbling experience to realize that we are all made in the image of God and He loves the person that I’m disagreeing with as much as He loves me. Conflict over convictions was always been a difficult thing for me, mainly with my parents. For the most part we agreed but there were small things that I felt a conviction about, but they didn’t and it brought conflict because I would try to push my personal convictions on them. There were many times where we would look through scripture together to try and solve the conflict. Seeing what scripture had to say always ended the conflict even though the majority of the time there was no black and white answer.

    • Douglas Gehm says:

      Rebekah, I really like what you point out about remembering that the other person we conflict with bears the image of God. That truth doesn’t allow anything else but treating people with love and kindness. That is such a huge insight and challenge. I struggle with this at times – my selfishness creates a default view in my perspective that needs transformed by what you bring out here. Thank you.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    This pod cast brought up some good points to resolving conflict God’s way. To many times people try to solve conflict in their own fleshly ways. I have never been a confrontational person I always just kept everything bottled up or just agree with what the person said, especially in my marriage I am now learning to communicate and talk about and use scripture and the Holy Spirit to guide us in getting through the things we have conflict with. I can see where if your not walking with the Lord you will not be able to walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and loving forbearance, I have seen to many times where people start gossiping, and looking at each others sin instead of dealing with your own. That’s how the world handles conflict.

    • David Bowman says:

      Conflict tends to bring the worst out of most of us, especially when we are the wronged or offended party. You have to be a mature person in those situations to see beyond your desire to be right or to be vindicated. Instead, you have to prefer the other person and seek a biblical resolution, whether or not that works in your personal favor or not. Jesus died in order to remove the offense that kept us separated from the Father. In like manner, when we are involved in a conflict, someone has to die to self in order for there to be a resolution.

      • Audra Downs says:

        David, your comment above about seeking resolution really jumped out at me. You are stated that we should seek resolution whether the outcome works in our favor or not. I love how you put that and as hard as a pill that can be to swallow, I thought of Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”

    • Rachel Henderson says:

      Hey there Margaret! I relate to you when you said that you have never been a confrontational person. I have always dreaded confronting others. (I still have trouble even confronting a waiter when my order was given to me wrong.) Though my intention is usually to stop something from becoming a bigger problem, if my heart goes unchecked for long enough, bitterness can seep in there. For a long time, I struggled with an issue of hurt and resentment, but through much prayer the Lord really delivered me from that. Thank You, Jesus! I’m so glad to hear that the Lord is doing a work in your life and your marriage. That is so exciting! Thank you for sharing!

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hello Margaret, thank you for sharing. I am newly married to my husband. I got to admit that for years my struggle was bottling in my feelings was something I have worked and continue to work with the Lord with. My husband challenges me to express my feelings or what he calls “just emote”.
      There is healing that comes once sin or conflict is spoken as James 5:1 says.

    • KEVIN THATCHER says:

      You hit the nail on the head Margaret in your post. If we are not utilizing God’s word in counseling, we are using our worldly, natural wisdom to deal with spiritual problems. We all know that no good things dwell within us. Counseling without God’s word, might be at best a temporary cover or patch. The problem is never completely healed. However, incorporating God’s word in counseling and submitting to His word the solution will be a complete fix.

  • David Bowman says:

    Conflict is as much a part of the human experience as breathing. Thankfully, this episode gave a general overview that points to the Scriptures as our sufficient resource for conflict resolution. Ephesians 4:1-3 listed the requisite character traits needed in someone that is a biblical conflict resolver: maintain a worthy walk with the Lord, conduct yourself in a lowly and gentle manner, be willing to put up or endure with others and their differences of perspective and personality, and do everything in your power to maintain unity the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    I found the three types of conflict to be very informative. I had never considered conflict in those categories, but it makes biblical sense. The encouragement to overlook singular instances of sin was helpful. I have found many believers, including myself, to be too legalistic and at times sin-sniffers. I am grateful that we have Christ in us, the ultimate reconcile, who enables us to assist in reconciling others to Him.

    • Douglas Gehm says:

      David, I like how you bring out the point of scriptures’ sufficiency, but specifically how that has to translate into our own lives as peacemakers. The character dynamic is so huge. I find that I am my own worst enemy and that I have more problems and conflict with myself than with any other person. The reminder here to focus on my walk with Jesus in humility, gentleness, forbearance, etc is a welcome one. Thank you.

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hello David, I felt the same way about the option of overlooking sin. I know that there are times when the most loving thing we can do is to bring rebuke, but there are situations where we can overlook and simply love the person. We need the leading of the Holy Spirit to be able to differentiate the two.

  • Rachel Henderson says:

    Pride is at the root of all sin. I remember when I first heard that, I tried tracing any sin I could think of back to the possible motives and sure enough–each sin started with pride. Our sinful and egotistical nature tells us to follow our will instead of God’s will. I really appreciated how Pastor Jeff broke down all conflict into three types: personality-wise, conviction-wise, and sin issues. What stood out to me most during this message was the issue of personality and conflict. With Covid-19 affecting colleges and jobs, my younger siblings and I are all back under the same roof with our parents. God is so good and has provided miraculously for our family, so there are no complaints here! Still, with all five of us sinners quarantined–there is bound to be some conflict. This year especially, the Lord has been teaching me how to actively pursue peace in my relationships. Humility, peace, and forbearance are not going to come about passively. I must cry out to God for His strength and be “willing to yield” to other’s and “put up with differences” for the sake of loving others and loving Jesus.

  • Caleb Franks says:

    I very much needed to hear this podcast; thank you pastor Jeff! Conflict is inevitable when humans are fellowshipping, and unfortunately the devil uses our differences and disagreements to try and tear apart the church body. I loved the clear categorization of conflict resolution. The explanation of the three forms of conflict (personality, concviction, and sin) really helped me to approach my relationships with a more strategic approach to resolution. Paul’s emphasis to lovingly forbear and endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit really encouraged me in my daily life. I have a brother in Christ who is staying with me and sometimes his personality differs from mine. I have to strive to evaluate each conflict we have with a humble and gentle heart. I have to have mercy and grace for the smaller issues, and a loving rebuke if there is sin present.

    • Michelle R says:

      The personality conflict spoke to me as well. It brought an appreciation to me on how wonderfully individually we are made. Just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t mean he is my enemy. We’re just of different opinion. This is something that I will be taking with me as a reminder on a daily basis.

  • Jason Corbett says:

    I appreciate everything you said Jeff. It is truly amazing how wonderful a resource the Word of God is when it comes to life including problem solving/conflict resolution. God had plenty to say on the issue only if we would listen and do what He has said prescribed. Love the notes that come with the podcast. I plan on making a copy of those and keeping them close by for reference material on the issues discussed.

    I think the greatest takeaway for me was in regards to personality conflict. There are number of things that would fall into this category and end up bringing about unnecessary and often trivial conflicts that end up leading to sin. So, the idea of forbearance in these areas is word for me. Not everyone thinks or dresses the same way nor indeed do they have to. There are unique characteristics in us all that God has indeed placed there that make up who we are. The main thing is that we all reflect the light of the Son. If we are doing that then the little idiosyncrasies can and should be overlooked.

    • Michelle R says:

      I also loved all the notes that came with the podcast. I wrote everyone down in a journal so thatI can study them in depth. Such a great resource to have.

    • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

      Great point, the Bible has the answer to so many of our problems if only we would listen to the word of God. Too many times I find myself trying to do things the world’s way especially when it comes to conflict solution. It is easier to just not talk to someone I dislike than it is to actually practice forbearance.

  • Kyle Fox says:

    I really enjoyed the podcast this week because we all deal with conflict on a daily basis, and the council in this week’s episode was clearly organized and easily applicable. It is really helpful to organize the type of conflict you are dealing with in one of the three categories. It brings more clarity into the situation when you first determine if the issue is simply personality related, someones conviction, or if the problem is sin related. Once you are determined the correct category, you can move on to the the solution. Regarding personality problems, we can usually resolve them by humbling ourselves and preferring to keep the peace rather than letting an annoyance break fellowship. When a conflict has to do with personal convictions, we need to diligently study the word of God in order to bring clarity to the issue. Even with these situations there are many mysteries and disputed subjects in the Bible. We still must strive to keep the peace and prefer fellowship over proving ourselves right. The final issue of sin should be handled in the most loving way possible. The least loving thing we can do is to ignore sin. We need to lovingly rebuke and bring correction the way God commanded us to do it. Keeping the matter private when possible, and only involving others when it is required, with the ultimate goal of restoration.

    • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

      Yes, there are so many conflicts that arise on a daily basis. Having the different categories of conflict and how to handle them is extremely helpful. In my opinion handling conflict over sin is the most difficult, but like you said, “The least loving thing we can do is to ignore sin.”

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hey Kyle, I like how you bring up the annoyance. The annoyance we have about the other person are just pet peeves. Just because may feel that the annoyance is bothering me it does not mean it sin and we have to let it go.

    • KEVIN THATCHER says:

      Kyle, right on man, excellent point, to recognize and point out the three categories or conflict areas of counseling before actually diving into a session. One must know the enemy before he can be defeated. By recognizing which area, we can prayerfully seek the Lord to give us His wisdom when counseling with the person. One must always keep the counselling confidential; it will build up trust and develop into a deeper relationship.

  • KEVIN THATCHER says:

    I like how to handle conflict between believers. Whoever is involved in the conflict they must prayerfully study the word of God in order to seek solutions for their conflict. For in the word of God, you will find wisdom, guidance and answers to the conflict. John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. Also, in Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    The word of God is a lighthouse a beacon of truth especially in these chaotic and crazy times we live on today. The divide is rapidly enlarging, between the world and church and sadly in the church as well. According to Hebrews 4 the word of God is living able to cut into the marrow of man. As believers we are responsible to be obedient to His word. With The bible states if one is born again, we become members of the family of God. As in any family there are gong to be dysfunctional moments, or episodes of conflict. But in God’s word is found solutions. 2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      Kevin, your emphasis on resolution often coming from simply knowing the word of God is a great reminder. I see in my own life that often conflict amongst believers arise because they lack biblical wisdom on certain topics. I am reminded of the exhortation of Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…”

  • Jocelyn Padilla says:

    This podcast was great and so relatable. Conflict is something everyone has experienced. When hearing this podcast, I tried to related how Jesus handled conflict in the gospels. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the mother of Zebedee’s sons. She asked Jesus to grant her sons a seat to Jesus’ right and left hand in the kingdom. The disciples heard her asking and were angry with the brothers. Jesus handles their conflict so beautifully and perfectly said. Resolving conflict starts with humility. Our life is an act of service to Christ and our neighbors.

    Our flesh gets in our way of doing things God’s way. This podcast was a great reminder of resetting and aligning our hearts back to Jesus when conflict arises and walking people through restorations.

    The Holy Spirit and study the Bible moves us from our flesh to the Spirit:
    Pride – Humility
    Unkindness – Gentleness
    Resistance/ impatience – Patience
    Intolerance/Agitated – Forbearance

    The three resolutions that Prof. Christianson explained are so practical for Forbearance (learn to put with the small things that do not sin), Study the Bible about personal convictions, and repentance (attempting wrongs of sins for forgiveness).

    • Michelle R says:

      Hi Jocelyn, I loved how you used an example of conflict between the disciples and how Jesus handled the situation among them. It shows that conflict was apart of the disciples lives and they too were taught how to resolve it among themselves. Thank you for that wonderful example. Blessings!

    • Caleb Franks says:

      Jocelyn, I love your comment which emphasizes Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Some days when I’m particularly struggling with those fleshly attributes you listed of pride, unkindness, impatience, and agitation; I pray to Jesus for a filling of the Holy Spirit and restoration and resolution really begins to occur. Your mention of the disciples’ conflict over “who will be the greatest in the kingdom” reminds me that often my conflict arises out of silly desires that I should be willing to give up in order to keep the peace.

  • harry e innerst says:

    Pastor Jeff, I really am one who hates conflict. I get really bugged with two believers who just can’t seem to get along. I tend to wait until it’s almost out of hand, then step in and tell them both off, which creates more conflict. I am learning that it is better to early on sit down and say, hey let’s talk about this. What can we do here? Applying the Biblical principles of humility, gentleness, and forbearance, go along way toward maintaining the unity of the Spirit. Taking into account the party’s personality is very beneficial. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting int the other person’s shoes, in order to see their prospective. The idea of keeping the circle small is beat for all parties concerned. Living in the bond of peace is the key to helping others.

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