Dealing With Conflict

Matthew 18:15-17 (KJV)
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

First you have to ensure that an actual offence has taken place. Were there lies spread? Were there threats of violence or is it a disagreement over a minor issue. We need to grow thicker skin so that not everything offends us.

Jesus provides a very simple way of dealing with conflict. First, you try to work it out with the individual on your own. You would bring up the words that were said or deeds done that have caused you grief to work it out in order to restore the relationship. This should be done with a soft tone and not in an accusing manner. If you start the proceeding by being angry and pointing a finger, they will naturally take a defensive position and things will go from bad to worse.

Proverbs 15:1-2 (KJV)
1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

 

The second step would be to go to the person with witnesses to avoid hearsay. This can be done in the form of a meeting, but should be done in the spirit of reconciling the relationship, not just casting blame for an incident.

If step 2 doesn’t work, go to step 3 which would be to bring the situation public to your church fellowship and outline what transpired in steps 1 and 2. If no admission of any wrong doing and no attempt to reconcile the relationship with the one that offended you can be met, they’re to be removed from the fellowship and the matter is done. No need to continue with gossip and reliving the incident. You are to forgive and move on and leave it in the hand of the one who caused offence to reconcile the relationship at this point.

The thing that some would have a hard time with is to remove the one who causes offence from the church fellowship as it would appear to be a harsh move. It’s important to note that Jesus said this and it isn’t how you feel about it. The person who caused offence is to be removed so they don’t cause further offense and division within the fellowship.