Conflict and Christians

by Marti Munion

Conflict is something we can all identify with at some time in our lives. It may be with your family, a neighbor, co-worker, someone at church or even a stranger.  We can see from reading the Bible that even our Lord Jesus had his share of conflict while here on earth.  To be human is to have conflict in our lives. As Christians we are to resolve conflict in a way that is pleasing to God.

Let's have a look at the kinds of conflict which are destructive (to be resolved) and constructive (to be embraced).

Destructive conflict tears down and destroys people and their relationships but constructive conflict builds and strengths people in their relationships. In constructive conflict you have humility and respect for those involved.  It is truth based where others are important and there is rationality which leads to people listening and talking things out with the help of prayer.

Now if we have a look at destructive conflict it is opposite in all the same areas. We have pride and disrespect and a opinion based argument. The person or people involved can be narcissistic and irrational, emotional and tend to be defensive and give others the silent treatment. We may at some point may act this way. This kind of conflict can be in the heat of an argument or not.

You need to know what type of conflict you are in so that it can be resolved.

Both kinds of conflict should be resolved in a timely matter the sooner the better because time can make it worse and harder to solve. Waiting gives a person time to let it build up and their judgment can become clouded. Unresolved conflict takes a root in our hearts and souls. It can torment us and make us bitter, complaining and critical. We become distrustful from all these negative emotions and build up walls and the longer it continues the higher the walls becomes It is also toxic and like a cancer that tears us down. When this happens it can destroys our relationships and this is why we should start resolving them quickly!

Now we know that conflict will happen in this sinful world. If Jesus could not avoid it then why should we think we can! We have to identify which type of conflict we are having. Destructive conflict can be resolved if we follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus.  We can find some answer in Matthew Chapter 5 and 18.

As we stated we need to address it quickly. Quickly means in a timely manner. We should not let it fester, ignore or stuff it down! Time feeds anger and clouds our memory and we move from truth to opinions based on our feelings not of our will. The Christian Life should be lived not in our feelings but in our will which is based on what we should do and what is right. That is one of the secrets of living a happy Christian life.

When we look at Matthew Chapter 5 it tells us to turn the other cheek and to love our neighbors and has many other verses to help us in our lives.

Matthew Chapter 18 in summary tell us if we have conflict with another Christian go to him in private and tell them what they did wrong then the conflict is over but if he refuses take one or two persons with you and talk to them. If they still don't listen go to the church (meaning pastor)and if he does not listen then treat him like a tax collector. They did not like tax collectors! This model can also be used with non Christians. 

Hopefully your conflicts will never get to that point.

When the conflict is constructive in nature you can go to that person or persons with humility and respect, truth(Scripture) and listen to them. In that way you can rationally talk things through! Hopefully all your conflicts will be constructive in nature.

May our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit and Jesus as our example and with much prayer we will be able deal with all the conflict in our lives. May God bless and keep us!

Written and posted by M. Munion 9/30/17