April 17, 2014

Conflict Resolution

Written by Boyd Bailey

WomanThoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 17, 2014

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:15

Christians tend to skirt conflict. Some perceive it as unspiritual, however Jesus teaches it is spiritual.  Healthy conflict is necessary for relational and spiritual growth. It is required to keep clean accounts with others and stay focused on Kingdom priorities. Conflict resolution can be uncomfortable, but if ignored, it can become ugly, even explosive.

There are two roles in the beginning stages of conflict resolution. One role is the confronter—the other is the receiver. If you are the confronter, it is critical to communicate the facts of the situation. If you are loose with the truth and cavalier in your confrontation, the situation will worsen—so have the details documented and verified.

The second critical aspect of the confronter is the spirit of the conversation. Do not inflict an accusatory tone in your voice. You are there in a spirit of reconciliation and healing. Avoid a condescending attitude, as you are a potential candidate for the same concerns you are bringing to your friend. It is with a spirit of humility and grace that you confront.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

You speak the truth in love. The receiver on the other hand needs to beware of defensiveness, denial and defiance. When confronted, the receiver needs to listen carefully and not interrupt with petty excuses. After hearing out the accuser, the receiver can correct any misconceptions and inaccuracies with a mature and level headed spirit.

In most cases, the receiver of correction needs to apologize. Nine out of ten times a sincere apology from the one receiving the rebuke remedies the situation. On the other hand, a combative environment will just escalate the debate into a stalemate. It is better to lose an argument and win a relationship. Treat each other as God does and everyone wins.

If there is not a private resolution, then there is the option of mediation. Mediation can involve one or two additional people. If two more are invited, it is an effective practice for each party to select one person each who is respected by all.  Everyone one should agree that the conclusion of the mediator(s) is the final word.

To engage with another is to care. To ignore and even gossip about another is betrayal. The mature follower of Christ seeks to lovingly warn others of the consequences of unwise decisions. When you take the time to confront another you could save them from embarrassment and humiliation. Grace gives an opportunity for change. Praise God for those who have done the same for us. We need each other. Confronting now, precludes confrontation later. Diffuse the conflict bomb now and avoid an explosion of egos later.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:6).

Prayer: Whom do I need to lovingly confront over a concern, because I care for them?

Related Readings: Genesis 21:25; Job 6:24; Mark 8:33; Galatians 2:11-13

Post/Tweet today: It is better to lose an argument and win a relationship. #wisdomhunters

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© 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


  1. Buddy Hulsey says:

    All u said is true & scriptural. What about when you are confronted, you know it is your fault, you apologize, they say you are forgiven and they want nothing else to do with you, they avoid u like the plague, HAS FORGIVENESS TAKEN PLACE? 2 Thes 3:14-15, what about reconciliation? I responded in scriptural manner even 3rd party intervention; they said NO.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Buddy~ Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. What a great question and I am just sure there are many of our Wisdom Hunters readers that have the same concerns (so,thank you on their behalf). It sounds to me that you asked for the forgiveness and received it and the other person accepted it although has chosen not to reconcile. Buddy, I think this is a situation you take to the ONE who knows your heart, the only ONE that can heal the hurts and work with the heart of the other person. He is the Healer of all hurts, so pray to our Heavenly Father for the other person.
      I am writing this response on Good Friday and I am overwhelmed by the truth of this day. HE died for us, for you and I, Buddy. He Loves Us that much. Go to Him, Buddy, on behalf of this other person and with everything that is on your heart. Blessings to you and yours during this Easter season.
      Believing and trusting~

  2. Ron Goble says:

    The scriptures never tell us to apologize, the scriptures say to always ask for forgiveness. There is a big difference between an apology and asking for forgiveness. Will you forgive me requires an answer from the other person. An apology requires nothing from the other person. This passage
    requires us to go to the person, not an email, text, or phone call.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Ron~ Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to Wisdom Hunters regarding the devotional, “Conflict Resolution”. You make a great point; asking forgiveness is different than just an apology. It does require us to address the other person (hopefully, in a humbled manner) and ask for the forgiveness. Although, there are times we that is physically impossible, and that is when we are able to “lay our forgiveness” at the foot of the Cross. Ron, thank you for your comments. I am replying to this on Good Friday. What a day to recognize the ULTIMATE act of conflict resolution, and more importantly, FORGIVENESS!!
      Blessings to you and your this Easter Season.
      We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter.
      Believing and trusting~

  3. Michaela says:

    my question is, my boyfriend and I recently broke up over a conflict we had. I tried to reconcile the relationship, but he refused to have a meaningful conversation with me. I asked for us to sit down with a couple at our church to discuss the conflict, but he flat out refused. Well after practically begging for reconciliation and him barely communicating with me, he finally told me that after spending time in prayer that the Lord has told him not to move forward with our relationship. He said I am a wonderful woman but he has decided with God’s ok to stop pursuing a marriage relationship with me. I feel abandoned and I feel like he has not forgiven me because we never came back together to discuss the conflict.
    Any feedback on this would be very helpful. I want to continue to be friends with him but how do I do that when we have gone from I love you to oh, hi. what are some things I can do to show my love without over stepping my boundaries and becoming offensive.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Michaela~
      Thank you so much for reaching out to Wisdom Hunters after reading “Conflict Resolution”. I am sorry you are going through this troubling time and I know it must be hard for you. However, as hard as it is to understand (and you may never truly understand it)maybe this is a time for you to seek out your Heavenly Father to fill “the void” and soak up HIS Peace right now.
      “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Phil 4:6-7

      I can guess that your heart is hurting but instead of looking for ways to reconcile with your boyfriend, pray for him. Surrender him to God and let God take over. Possibly, God has other plans for the both of you. (Wouldn’t it be so awesome if we could just see what plans HE has for us?)

      Remember HE loves you so much and only wants the best for you:

      “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE”. Jeremiah 29:11

      I think it is wonderful that you sought out reconciliation and made such a sincere effort to mend the break. You made such a heartfelt attempt at conflict resolution and maybe with time, you all can become friends. In the meantime, Your Heavenly Father is walking right beside you, so hold His Hand and HE will guide you through the rough patches!
      Michaela, please let us hear from you again and let us know how you are.
      We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter.
      Believing and trusting~

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