Resolving Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in personal relationships. It is humanly impossible to live in total harmony with others at all times. Jesus told his disciples how to settle disputes between believers (Matthew 18:15–20). Paul resolved his conflict with John Mark, which had developed between the first and second missionary journeys (Acts 15:36–41). John warned Christians not to hate each other (1 John 4:20–21).

The Bible offers several steps to resolving conflict and settling disagreements among people:

  1. Scripture admonishes the believer to face the conflict—acknowledge its existence and accept its impact. Christ advised his disciples to go immediately and directly to the person and discuss the grievance (Matthew 18:15). Others should be enlisted to mediate the conflict only if the conflict cannot be resolved one-to-one (Matthew 18:16–17).
  2. Scripture instructs the believer to forgive the conflict—to put the disagreement behind and move ahead in harmony once...
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