5.7. Conflict Resolution – Family – Deep Convictions

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it."

1. The Movie:

In the movie “Love’s Complicated” with Leah’s (Holly Marie Combs) and Ben Bass surprise enrollment in a conflict management class pushes her to develop friendship, love and inner strength.

2. Quotes from the Movie:

"Everyone walked all over her."

“Don't be such a doormat.”

Amanda Brugel - aLove's Complicated Movie Tweet

"You are just a know it all. I call it as I see it. Maybe you need some glasses."

Holly Marie Combs & Ben Brass - Love's Complicated Movie Tweet

Now Hans have you ever felt that someone was walking over you. Sometimes we do not know how to deal with conflict or to steer the conversation to a win win solution. Some people will always try to take advantage or you to get their way. We need to learn how to deal with conflict constructively and not feel intimidated and sorry for ourselves because we could not deal with it.

3. The Bible Scriptures:

Let’s see what the Bible has to say:

– The Body of Christ will not be a “perfect place” immune from relationship problems. Why Hans will problems even arise in relationships that are in the church?

  • Francois we are different people with different personalities and desires.
  • When you are in the church you might have unrealistic expectations.
  • We all are sinners and will sin against each other.
  • Sometimes we keep grudges and not willing to forgive a person.
  • People in leadership will make mistakes and sin as well.

– So how should we resolve problems that arise in the church Hans?

Lets have a look a what the Bible says.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift – Mat 5:23-24

  • This scripture says if my brother has something against me, that means I think I might have offended my brother and I think I might have offended him.
  • Francois well we should have a clear conscience when it comes to my sin against my brothers and having attitudes against them.

– If you have been a Christian for more than a few months or years now, how would you evaluate the way you have handled your relationships in the body?

  • Man, Francois I must say that I am a very sensitive soul. If I feel someone does not listen to me I feel hurt and I think they do not respect me. If you do not respect me then how could you love me.
  • I think I can hold it against that person and maybe even treat him differently from then onwards, not seeing that this person needs to grow in his love. I am thinking about 1 Cor 13:7 where it says love always trusts, always hopes. Sometimes we get all insecure, which is pride by the way especially if it is leaders and we do not trust our instinct regarding the scriptures and your conclusions.
  • I think friendship takes work and honesty. If you do not agree with someone you should gently share your view on things to open dialogue. If you start making statements or get emotional from the start, someones defenses might go up and that will not further fruitful discussion and resolution, but maybe resentment.
  • I think reconsiliation takes initiating if you think there might be a disagreement. That mean that we should be sensitive towards people but not oversensitive and take it personally. 

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] 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.’[c] 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.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Mat 18:15-20

– How is this different from the way people often handle a problem of sin? Why will step one work most of the time?

  • I think people would normally retaliate in the world and take it personally.
  • Someone who is worldly might go and gossip to other people about it and make the problem even bigger, driving a wedge inbetween that relationship or even ending it.
  • Francois sometimes we are not aware that we have hurt someone by what we said, especially if you are a very passionate person. 
  • It might have been that persons off day and something else might be a problem. 

– Why is step two something going to be needed?

  • We are people with different opinions. You might not respect my opinion and be full of yourself not seeing your sin but being deceived by worldly opinions. 

– Why would the church have to server fellowship with the person who will not repent and confess hisor her sin?

  • Francois that person might become a cancer in the church that causes division amongs people and ruin the church. 
  • When you ostracize people they might come to their senses. It’s peer pressure that sometimes help someone to understand that they might be wrong. 
  • I think the point here Francois is that I need to make a decision not to complain or grumble behind someone’s back. 
  • I need to take responsibility to go to them and seek to resolve the problem with God’s help. 

– How would you evaluate they way you have handled your relationships in the church?

  • Well Francois I think the first thing is do I have any attitudes against people.
  • Is there people I do not feel close to in the church?
  • Did I go after disagreements to solve them?
  • Did I study out the subject in the Bible to get more clarity on the disagreement or issue?

12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity[a] and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace – 2 Cor 1:12

– Hans what are you appreciating about relationships that are based on God’s grace and not worldly wisdom?

  • Relationships that is based on God’s grace and not worldly wisdom Francois lasts.
  • The reason they last is the fact that you are willing to listen what God says and to repent if need be. 

4. Close

– Hans conflict resolution will always be in our lives because we are different people. How we deal with it will determine if we will be successful or not.
  • Francois I have found myself in some tight spots in the past. Sometimes I got hurt by it, sometimes I stuck my head in the sand and home it has gone away and sometimes I have ignored it just to find out that it has not been resolved after a year. So my conclusion I came to is that if I do not deal with my conflicting situations and feelings, it does not go away also the feelings of rejection as well. 

– Man Hans that is a great point, but it seems easier said than done! Would you close us out with a prayer?

  • Will do. 
  • Father what a great new day and morning.
  • Lord in the winter the house is quite cold in the mornings and to combat that I put a flee blanket over my head and then I look like Yoda as my wife said. That feels the same way if I read my Bible in the morning and understands that I am covered by your grace. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling which is great.
  • Lord thank you for different seasons which brings variety and different experiences.
  • Lord I must say sitting by the fire and drinking wine is one of my favourite past times for the winter.
  • Lord I know that I need to learn to deal with conflicting situations for they will always be in my life.
  • Help me to deal with it in a spiritual way which will be upbuilding and not a worldly way which leads to broken relationships and alienation. 
  • Lord help me to deal with my feelings of disunity due to difference in opinion.
  • I do know that it can seperate me from people as sin does in my life.
  • If I don’t get open about it, it bugs my conscience and I am never resolved with that person.
  • Lord what I have found in the past is to write letter to that person if I cannot say what I feel in person.
  • Sometimes Lord I just have to realize that I need to be the bigger person in the relationship and persevere to help and love the other person.
  • Amen.
 

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