Conflict resolution doesn’t always go the way you had hoped. Sometimes communication breaks down and the conversation you had hoped would end the dispute fails its purpose. It’s not time to give up yet, but rather gather support. You want to find a friend who can help you settle the matter. Ideally, this is someone who witnessed the initial conflict. If no such friend is available then someone who unbias and cares for each member of the conflict. You don’t want it to turn into an attack against the other person. Our end goal isn’t to be right, but to find resolution. Having a friend who has no stake in the conflict can be a great asset.
Go To Leadership
Should that still not settle the matter it’s time to go to a higher authority. For us as Christians, church leadership is an excellent source to help bring a Godly perspective. With each step, you are slowly widening the circle in the hope of loving restoration. By going to a higher authority, hopefully, it is enough for all people involved to recognize any wrong they have done, and also that they are loved and to come to full reconciliation.
Let Them Go
Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that at this point resolution has still not come. The other person has refused to yield their opinion, and clearly want to part in solving the issue at hand. At this point, you have done everything you can do and it’s time to let them go. You can continue to pray for them, but you can’t let your life be consumed by this conflict. You need to forgive and release the burden for your own benefit. That’s why I love the wording in Romans 12:18 in the NIV that says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You can’t control other people. Peace is a two way street. If you’ve done your part then you can rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- How is this approach to conflict different than the way you would naturally go about it?
- Which part of the Biblical process we laid out is the most challenging for you?
- What steps will you take next time you have conflict?
PRAY: Lord, I pray that there are no conflicts in my life today, but if there are please give me the wisdom to handle them in a way that brings honor to Your name
Matthew 18:15-17 (NLT) 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Colossians 3:1-17 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is youra]”> life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.