Matthew 18:15-17

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church….”

I hate conflict. I have a really hard time when problems are left unresolved, especially those with people I care deeply about. When I was a kid and I got in a fight with my parents, I would get really mad and yell at them one minute and the next I was slipping apology notes under their door in hopes of resolving the conflict as soon as possible.

As I got older, I had to do more than write notes to apologize for my wrongdoings, but I still carried with me the sense of urgency to resolve issues. However, I started to notice a pattern in my conflict resolution skills. Whenever there was tension with someone I cared about, it was like I would play dead. I took all the blame for the conflict in hopes that doing so would resolve it sooner. I wasn’t putting it off, but I still wasn’t handling it in a healthy way.

Jesus gives us practical advice on how to deal with conflict. He wants us to resolve our conflict as soon as we can, but he wants us to do so with truth and love. By taking all the blame, I was not being honest in situations. Jesus says it is okay to honestly point out how someone has sinned against you or hurt you. Sometimes it is a difficult process; others may not always respond well. You are not responsible for the reaction of others, but you are responsible for how you handle every situation. As Paul puts it in Romans 12:18, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

QUESTION 1. How do you usually handle conflict with others?
QUESTION 2. Is there someone in your life that you need to seek peace with today? If so, what is keeping you from resolving that conflict?
CHALLENGE: If there is someone in your life that you are not at peace with, go talk to the person in love instead of gossiping to others about the problem. Strive to live at peace with everyone.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!