We are designed for relationships, God said it is not good for man to be alone from the beginning, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself, He said on these two hangs the Law and the Prophets. The ten commandments, four has to do with our relationship with God and the other six has to do with our relationships with other people. It is about relationships and loving but in the process of doing that, there are bound to be conflicts, it is normal because you are not perfect and the people you are relating with are not perfect.
Resolving conflict is a major part of the Christian experience, sometimes people come through family experiences where they are not taught how to resolve conflict and when we leave conflicts to fester, they develop into things that we cannot control that distorts our lives.
How do we resolve conflicts as Christians?
Given the fact that love is primarily our nature, we should prioritise the restoration of broken relationships. Resolving conflict is a major part of the Christian experience. When we truly love, we should prioritise the restoration of broken fellowship and relationships, we should not discard relationships like disposable cups.
John 13:35, Implies that the relationship between us as Christians forms a major part of our witness to the world. The people who are not part of the Church can’t see God but they can see us, it is the interactions between us that Jesus says it is the way they will see us and know that we are Godly. We need to pay attention to the quality of our relationships between us as Christians.
Matthew 5:9, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the sons of God. He didn’t say ‘peace lovers’ but ‘peace makers’ because everybody loves peace but not everybody makes peace. Making peace requires efforts, it is hard work.
Whenever fellowship or a relationship is broken, we should do something about it because God expects us to do something about the broken fellowship or relationship before we come to continue our relationship with God. Jesus said if you bring your gift to the altar and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave that gift on the altar, go and make peace with the brother and come back to make sacrifices. A Christian should prioritise the mending of broken relationships.
Keeping malice with another christian for six month is not an achievement, there is no point trying to break the word record for keeping malice. Sometimes especially in marriage we are tempted to do that. We should work towards peace making.
What is the point in going about bitter, angry, resentful? Make up quickly.
Practical Steps To Restore Fellowship.
1. Pray: Pray for yourself and the other person. Prayer brings insight.
2. Ask God for wisdom, you will be amazed at what God will tell you to do to resolve the situation. Sometimes it will surprise or disappoint you but you can’t beat God’s methods.
3. Put yourself in the other person’s position: Try to see things from the other person’s perspective, it gives you capacity for sympathy and empathy. Conflicts is a sign that it has become a matter of emotions and emotions needs to be resolved. You need to be able to feel what the other person is feeling and with that you can assuage the feelings, then both of you can deal with the logics of the situation.
Marital issues are difficult to resolve because you are dealing with two adults who knows what they are saying.
4. Do what Jesus said in Matthew 18, talk to the person, take the initiative. Jesus is putting the responsibility on you. This is a powerful strategy from the Bible.
5. Accept your part of the conflict, Jesus said, sometimes it’s the log in your eye that is not allowing you to see well the spec in your brothers eye, He said you should deal with your own first. It will help a great deal if we accept our part of the situation.
6. Please separate the person from the issue. When you do that, it helps you reconcile even if the issue is not resolved yet.
Give everyone the right to love what they love. Separate the person from the issue, love the person while you’re trying to resolve the issue.
A Christian has to work towards peacefulness.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that the Lord makes today a day of restoration of broken fellowship, I pray God gives us capacity by the help of the Holy Spirit to overlook each others mistakes and to forgive.