Identifying and applying biblical conflict resolution solutions
Conflict is everywhere! This is not necessarily a bad thing, as proper conflict management at every phase of our lives provides some of life’s most fertile growth experiences. The problem is, we are NOT taught how to manage our conflicts. In the first of our 2-part series, we listed and discussed the Five Degenerating Stages of Conflict. We saw plain evidence that we generally approach our conflicts with personal opinions, preferences, passion and a desire to win. What tends to get overlooked are the solid, emotionless principles of truth and righteousness. If you look at the social and political conflicts in our world, you will see the sad and chaotic results of such an approach. So, how do we turn the tables? As Christians, how do we rise above the fray and manage the conflicts before us with godliness and grace while firmly standing for what is right? The answers are straightforward, sound and scriptural!
The first part of this series focused on the problem of conflict. It outlined in detail how easily and destructively conflicts generally end up as private wars with no resolution in sight. In this second part, we focused on keeping that degrading process from developing. Curtailing the dismantling of relationships resulting from out of control conflicts is, to say the least, a daunting and extreme mission. For a Christian, success is only possible if we read, adopt and follow the powerful biblical strategies we have at our fingertips. This may sound easy, but it’s not.
Where do we start?
While the Bible contains answers for a world full of problems, it is not written like a self-help book. You can’t just go to the Table of Contents and look up the “Conflict Resolution” chapter. Our approach needs to have two parts:
- We need to understand what the real problem is that we are trying to solve. To proactively solve the conflicts we may have with others, our focus should be on ourselves and not the conflict. There is a big question we must answer before applying any biblical strategies. “Am I willing to sell out to biblical principles above my own feelings and opinions for the sake of resolution?” If we are determined to adopt a yes answer, the scriptures are poised to fill in the strategy. This brings us to the second part of our approach...
- Open the book!
A powerful set of Scriptures to guide us through conflict resolution is found in James 4:7-10. Merely reading these texts probably won’t do much for us. Instead, we need to absorb their wisdom within the context of our conflicts. Check out our October 5, 2020 podcast, “Can Biblical Strategies Resolve Serious Conflicts? Part II” for more. We review the naturally-degenerating stages of conflict and examine scriptural principles to apply at each and every stage. We ask the hard questions and find additional biblical principles to answer them. Biblical strategies CAN resolve serious conflicts. The only question is, how willing are we to find and apply them?
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