Handling conflict well
Conflict is inevitable whenever two people are together. Most of us try to avoid conflict completely, or go in all guns blazing and make it worse. Jesus gave some amazingly clear teaching on how to handle conflict well
Whoever you think is at fault, Go! As soon as we become aware we are offended, or have offended, Jesus commands us to go!
In Matt 5 you have caused the offence, In Matt 18 the other person has caused the offence, they have offended you. In Matt 5 you may have sinned against the other person. In Matt 18 the other person may have sinned against you.
Jesus gives us four steps. Firstly have a private conversation – not phone a friend, not moaning on Facebook, telling everyone what they have done wrong. Go firstly face to face and talk about it just the two of you.
There are probably 6 ways we can challenge someone ranging from the easiest to the hardest – letter, email, SMS, voice message, phone call, and face to face – but the most effective way to actually resolve the conflict is the other way round! Go quickly – damage gets worse the longer you leave it – just like a broken ankle. Make observations not accusations – “I felt… when you…” and LISTEN to the response! Aim to listen as much as you speak (James 1:19-20).
If that doesn’t work take a wise mutual friend to help mediate. Most conflicts can be resolved by this stage. Next you can take two witnesses – and finally tell the church for the most serious issues involving persistent sin.
Pray: Examine your heart to see if there are any unresolved situations.