If you are here at Redeemer Church long enough you will experience conflict in a relationship with someone. That is true in anyplace (our homes, our workplaces, our schools, etc.) because we are sinners and we will eventually hurt one another or be hurt as long as we are in relationships with people in this world. So, how should we respond here at Redeemer Church if someone hurts us?
1-Try to overlook the offense – Consider these two Proverbs:
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:16
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
The Bible calls us to initially try to overlook the offense. We at first try to deal with the offense just between ourselves and God. If we can overlook the offense then we forgive the offense without saying anything to anybody.
KEEP IN MIND: We must actually forgive the offense – which means that we continue to have a healthy, growing relationship with that person who hurt us with no hard feelings and no withdrawal of fellowship.
So let’s not feel like we need to confront someone every time they do something wrong. It is a glory to overlook an offense. Do not show annoyance at once.
But what if we cannot overlook the offense?
2-Go directly to the person who hurt you – Consider these words of Jesus:
“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. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17
Notice three things about this text:
a)-just between the two of you. No one else ever knows about the offense if your brother is won over by what you say. What if you do let someone else know of this conflict? Then that person also needs to know about your reconciliation.
b)-If they will not listen, then take someone else along. There is no need to get anyone else involved until you have spoken to that person about it. So if someone complains to you about someone else then please ask them: Have you talked to them about this? Let’s agree to help one another with this issue.
c)-If a mediator cannot help resolve the dispute then come to the session. Let the elders of our church get involved and help resolve the conflict.
May God help us to deal with conflict well here at Redeemer Church.