At City Bible Church, we are committed to handling conflict in a way that glorifies God, edifies the body of Christ and reflect the principles laid out in the Bible. As we discussed last weekend, all relationships, including those among believers, are impacted by conflict.
At different times and in different ways, we’ll all come face to face with relational conflict. Sometimes it will just be conflict, at other times there will be sin that requires repentance. Remember, not all conflict is sin, but all sin will lead to conflict.
So, when conflict arises, what is the scriptural way to handle it?
Principles For Responding To Conflict
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict. We also believe conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ. Therefore, in response to God’s love and in reliance on His grace, we commit ourselves to respond to conflict according to the following principles:
Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will seek to please and honor God. We will honor God by depending on His wisdom, power, and love; by faithfully obeying His commands; and by seeking to maintain a loving, merciful and forgiving attitude.
Instead of attacking others or dwelling on their wrongs, we will take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts. We will confess our sins, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seek to repair any harm we have caused.
Go To The Source
Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will choose to overlook minor offenses or speak directly and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook. When a conflict with another Christian cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.
Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation. We will forgive others as God has forgiven us and seek just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.
We don’t need to wonder what to do when there’s conflict. Christ gives us an example in His response to the greatest conflict every experienced – the sinful rebellion of humankind. He engaged, forgave and provided peace – all motivated by His glory and His love for His children.
By God’s grace, we want to follow Christ’s example. Remember that success, in God’s eyes, is not a matter of specific results but of faithful, dependent obedience. And it’s our hope that our pursuit of being peacemakers brings glory to God and leads others to know His great love.
This material was adapted from Ken Sande’s book The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict.