Christians Must Handle Conflict Biblically
We cannot escape conflicts because we cannot escape .
People, including Christians, struggle with sinful pride and their sinful flesh, and therefore conflicts arise between individuals.
Conflicts can be between church members, parents and children, spouses, and other combinations of people. No matter who we have a conflict with, as Christians, we must seek to handle that it in a manner that is biblical and therefore honoring to God.
Take the example of a conflict between a husband and wife. It is easy and "normal" for us to allow our emotions to get in the way and for us to lash out in anger. We launch verbal grenades at each other, intending to blow the other's arguments to smithereens. We demean the other person, calling their ideas "stupid," or "ridiculous." And with each assault, we destroy the marriage brick by brick, piece by piece, and then wonder why there are so many problems in our marriage. However, as "normal" as this may be, this is not normal in God's eyes. It is sinful.
When our emotions lead our actions in this way, we feel like doing or saying things that the Bible challenges us to put away.
When conflicts arise, the first question we should respond to is not, "what do I feel like saying or doing right now?" Rather, the first question we should ask and respond to is, "what does God want me to do and say right now?"
In times of conflict, proper verbal communication is crucial. We must not just speak to each other, but we must speak biblically to each other.
Giving someone the silent treatment is not handling the conflict biblically. Blowing up at someone is equally unbiblical. Demeaning them or degrading them is also sinful. We must attack the problem in the conflict, not the other person who is an image-bearer of God.
It is possible, under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit through the heart saturation of the Word of God, for two people to have a discussion and even a disagreement with each other that does not erupt into verbal vomit. It can be worked out reasonably and agreeably and find a resolution that is honoring to the Lord.
When you and your spouse have a disagreement with each other, can you discuss it biblically, as two God-loving, Christ-honoring, Spirit-filled, Word-saturated people? Or when you get into a disagreement, does your Christianity get thrown out the window?
1 Thessalonians 2:12 exhorts believers to "walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory." This must include our discussions and disagreements with each other as Christians.
While much more could be said, is the manner in which you handle conflicts with your spouse, your children, or your church family (including your pastor) done in a manner that is worthy of God? If not, you are the one who needs to repent.
As Christians, we cannot handle conflict the same way that the ungodly world around us does. We must allow the Scriptures to saturate our heart, and the gospel to transform our responses in such a way that we handle conflict in a biblical fashion, for the glory of God, and for the health of his church.