Unfortunately, life is filled with a variety of different kinds of conflicts. While it is tempting to try to create our own process on how to deal with these conflicts, it is important each of us understands Jesus’ biblical model on how to resolve conflict (Matthew 18:15-17).
15 (Step 1) “If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 (Step 2) But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 (Step 3) If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And (Step 4) if he refuses to listen even to the church let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Reality is, most conflicts are usually resolved in the first two steps. It is vital that we remember that our goal is not only to point out the conflict, but restore a broken relationship. Love should always be the driving factor when seeking to reconcile differences and resolve conflicts. Not handling conflict in a godly manner can be unproductive, distracting and divisive. Failing to approach conflict boldly can lead to misinterpreting details, drawing false conclusions and unhealthy gossip. If we are to be the unified and powerful New Testament Church, we must be able to deal with conflict productively. As brothers and sisters in Christ, there should always be a desire to be unified believers. Handling conflict improperly can be irresponsible, reckless, and may be damaging to others.
The example of Jesus Christ requires us to consider the gospel and how we cannot allow pride to cheat us out of our victory.