A difference in opinion or purpose that frustrates someone’s goals or desires. Due to sin, it is inevitable and should be expected.
What Causes Conflict? Misunderstandings Differences Values Goals Gifts Calling Priorities Expectations Interests Opinions Competition over limited resources Sinful attitudes & desires that lead to sinful words and actions
Conflict resolution: Conflict resolution: Our Way Sinful; Unfulfilling No real peace For many Christians: “devotional theology” Conflict resolution: Conflict resolution: God’s Way Effective Systematic Biblical
Glorify God: How can I please & honor the Lord in this situation? Get the Log out of your eye How have I contributed to this conflict & what do I need to do to resolve it? Four The Four G’s
Go and show your brother his fault How can I help others to understand how they have contributed to this conflict? Go and be reconciled How can I demonstrate forgiveness & encourage a reasonable solution to this conflict? Four The Four G’s
We are inspired & empowered by what God has already done… and continues to do for us!
We are inspired & empowered by what God has already done… and continues to do for us!
Just Da Facts… We are powerless to do good or make peace by our own strength The foundation for true peacemaking & reconciliation is through Jesus; grace Jesus is the perfect model of a peacemaker
A Spectrum of Responses to Conflict Escape Responses
DenialDenial BlameBlame Flight or SuicideFlight or Suicide
Escape Responses are “Peace Faking” They are directed at getting away from the conflict situation rather than resolving it.
Pretends that a conflict doesn’t exist Refuses to do what we can to work it out Always the wrong response Escape Responses Denial
Escape Responses We don’t take responsibility for our choices by: Blaming others Pretending we did nothing wrong Covering up what we did Lying about our contribution to the conflict Always the Wrong response. Blame Game
Escape Responses Acceptable if there is a danger of harm Legitimate response when it is impossible to resolve the conflict in a constructive manner BUT BUT Prolongs the problems Flight
Escape Responses This is always the wrong response Suicide
A Spectrum of Responses to Conflict Attack Responses
Consiliation Responses are “Peace Making” They are directed at finding a just & mutually agreeable solution to a conflict.
Conciliation Responses One person deliberately, unilaterally, & quietly decides to forgive a wrong… Then walks away from the conflict. Overlook an Offense “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to over- look an offense.” Prov. 19:11
Conciliation Responses Go directly to the person – Talk it out! This can include personal confession, or confronting in a kind way. Used if you can not overlook it or if it is hurting your relationship Discussion “If your brother has something against you… go and be reconciled.” Matt. 18:15
Negotiation Conciliation Responses Substantive issues related to money, property, and other rights should be resolved by negotiating solutions that meet interests of all involved Usually done through a bargaining process “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others..” Phil. 2:4
Conciliation Responses MediationMediation ArbitrationArbitration Church DisciplineChurch Discipline Assisted
Mediation Conciliation Responses Ask one or more other people to meet with you and the other person Goal: to help you communicate more effectively & explore possible solutions. Mediators give advise but have no authority. “If he will not listen [to you], take one or two others along.” Matt. 18:16
Arbitration Conciliation Responses Arbitrator. Can not come to a mutual agreement on a substantive issue -- appoint an Arbitrator. Will listen to both sides, then render a binding decision. “If you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church.” Cor. 6:1-9
Church Discipline Conciliation Responses If a Christian refuses to reconcile, church leaders may intervene Intended to promote justice, repentance & forgiveness “If he refuses to listen to [others], tell it to the church.” Matt. 18:17-20
So did the responses of God’s people in the Bible.
Let’s Try… Let’s see how well you understand the “Slippery Slope” and the responses to conflict. You will be given a Biblical situation. Checkout the scriptural references and then determine the following: 1. The response from the “Slippery Slope” 2. Whether it was a “good” or “foolish” response
Quiz Time Sample: Conflict Situation: Adam & Eve are confronted with their sin (Gen. 3:8-13) Response: Denial (they played the “Blame Game”) Foolish or Wise Response? Foolish
Quiz Time 1) Abraham’s response to the friction between Sarai & Hagar (Gen. 16:6) Denial combined with half-hearted arbitration; Foolish 2) Hagar’s response to Sarai’s persecution (Gen. 16:6-8) Flight; Foolish 3) Joseph’s response when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him (Gen. 39:11-12) Flight; Wise 4) Potiphar’s wife’s response when Joseph spurned her advances (Gen. 39:13-18) Assault, apparently combined with pressing false legal charges; Foolish
Quiz Time 5) Pharaoh’s response to plagues God brought upon him (Ex. 7:1-12:36) Denial; Foolish 6) Saul’s response to David when he won the hearts of the people (1 Sam. 18:1-16) Assault and attempted murder; Foolish 7) David’s response to Saul’s attempts to kill him (1 Sam. 19:9-12) Flight; Wise (David ran away to avoid a direct physical confrontation with Saul) 8) Solomon’s response to the dispute over the prostitute’s baby (1 Kings 3:16-28) Arbitration or Litigation (Decision by the civil authority); Wise
Quiz Time 9) Daniel’s response to the command to eat unclean food (Dan. 1:8-16) Negotiation; Wise (One of the best examples of collaborative negotiation in the Bible) 10) Jonah’s response to God’s command to go to Nineveh (Jonah 1:3) First, Flight; Foolish THEN Suicide; Foolish THEN after repenting, he listened to God (Discussion); Wise BUT in the end he fell into Denial & a desire for death; Foolish 11) Joseph’s response when Herod was searching for Jesus (Matt. 2:13-15) Flight; Wise
Quiz Time 12) Judas Iscariot’s response to the inner conflict he felt after betraying Jesus (Matt. 27:5) Suicide; Foolish 13) The Corinthian’s response to legal conflicts with one another (1 Cor. 6:1-8) Litigation; Foolish 14) The apostle’s response to the conflict about distributing food (Acts 6:1-7) Mediation and/or Arbitration (their proposed solution “pleased the whole group.” It is unclear whether it was a suggestion or a binding decision); Wise (Good leaders build consensus rather than impose solutions.)
Quiz Time 15) Barnabas’ response to the conflict between Saul and the apostles (Acts 9:26-28) Mediation; Wise 16) Peter’s response when Jewish Christians complained about teaching Gentiles (Acts 11:1-18) Discussion and Negotiation; Wise 17) The Philippian slave owner’s response to Paul (Acts 16:16-22) Litigation (unjust use of civil process), resulting in assault; Foolish
Quiz Time 18) Paul’s response to Peter’s support of the circumcision group (Acts 15:1-29; Gal. 2:11-21) Discussion, followed by an appeal to the church for arbitration and discipline (Counsel at Jerusalem); Wise 19) Paul’s response when charged with crimes in Jerusalem (Acts 24:1-26:32) Discussion (tried to reason with crowd), with final resort to litigation (civil authorities) after a delioberate choice to bypass the church courts because they were “stacked” against him; Wise
Quiz Time 20) The Pharisees’ response to Jesus FIRST: Discussion (more to trap Jesus than to reason or understand Him); SECOND: Church Discipline (corrupted); THEN: Litigation (also corrupted); NEXT: Assault (verbal & physical); FINALLY: Murder (they instigated it) – all were Foolish and sinful. Only Nicodemus responded properly to Christ with discussion leading to conversation. BONUS: God’s response to our sin (Gospel) God had Patience & Forgiveness (Overlook); He sent Jesus to be our “High Priest” (Mediator); He was convicted for our sins (Litigation); Suffered pain for our sins (Assault); and he was crucified for us (Murder); Wise.
Peacemaker’s Pledge The Peacemaker’s Pledge Glorify God: Focus on God – not ourselves Seek to maintain a loving, merciful & forgiving attitude Get the Log out of your eye Take responsibility for our contribution Confess our sins to God Ask Him to change our conflicting attitude & habits Seek to repair any harm
Go and show your brother his fault Don’t pretend conflict is gone Choose to overlook minor offenses or Follow Matthew 18 Go and be reconciled Actively pursue genuine peace & reconciliation Forgive others Seek just & mutually beneficial solutions Peacemaker’s Pledge The Peacemaker’s Pledge
Dear Lord, I have a lot to learn about conflict and how to handle it better. Most of the time I respond by escaping or attacking. I can see now that those responses make my conflicts worse and even hurt my relationships with others. Teach me how to be a peacemaker Lord. In Jesus name. Amen