Biblical Conflict Resolution

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1 Biblical Conflict Resolution Biblical Soul-Care Workshops Peacemaker Ministries Used by Permission Week 8 Session 2 07/31/16

2 I. INTRODUCTION - CONFLICT RESOLUTION Biblical Communication vs. Conflict Resolution: The Difference? The Main Take-Away for Today You cannot do this Yourself We must trust God to do what we cannot do ourselves (Prov. 3:5-7) Genesis 41:16 - It is not in me; But God will give a favorable answer. Genesis 45:8 - Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result 2 Timothy 2:25 - with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. 2

3 INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION What was Paul s Answer to His and Our Dilemma in Romans 7:14-24? But if I do the very thing I do not want to do...so now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? What was his answer in Romans 7:25? Romans 8? What was his answer in Philippians 2:12-13? So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 3

4 II. THE PROBLEM What do couples typically see as their problem when marriage conflict erupts? Why do they ask for help? What are they saying? Typically, they go to Ephesians 5:22-33 as their problem. What is the real problem? Turn to Ephesians to find out. 4

5 Problem 5

6 Relationship Skills in Conflict (or Peace) (Note: the absence of the skills increases conflict) 1. Spiritual worship in Christ (Eph. 1-3, 4:2-7; 5:17-21; Col. 3:15-17) 2. Honoring & serving one another Love (Eph. 4:2-3, 15-16; 5:21; Col. 3:18-25) 3. Communication (Eph. 4:25-29; Col. 4:6) 4. Understanding roles (Eph. 5:22-6:9; Col. 3:18-25) 5. Spending time together (Eph. 5:15-19; Col. 4:5) 6. Conflict resolution (Eph. 4:30-32; Col. 3:8-15) 6

7 Heart-Attitudes in Conflict (or Peace) (Note: the opposite of these traits increases conflict) 1. Compassion (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12) 2. Kindness (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12) 3. Humility (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12) 4. Gentleness (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12) 5. Patience (Eph. 4:2-3; Col. 3:12) 6. Bearing with one another (Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:13) 7. Forgiveness (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13) 8. Love (Eph. 5:1-2; Col. 3:14) 7

8 Two Triangle Diagram (the iceberg of conflict) Rom. 14:17-19 Peace Problems (Conflict) James 4:1-2 Righteous Relationship Skills & Character Traits Sinful Created after the likeness of God Heart (Desires) Corrupted by deceitful desires New Man: God Worship Old Man: Self-Worship Key: heart change is needed (Eph. 4:17-24) 8

9 Self-Worship 1. Self-worshippers : become agitated (frustrated) and antagonistic (fighting and quarreling) when confronted with God s will in their life. They are opposed to any will or worship but their own. 1 -Scriptural illustration: Herod (Matt. 2:1-8, 16) 2. How do believers grieve (sorrow) God? -when they exhibit the opposite type of relationship skills and character traits (Eph. 4:29-31) -all which create relational conflict 3. What is the antidote to conflict and self-worship? weph. 5: Daniel Bennett

10 Self-Worship 4. What is an idolater (self-worshipper)? Key traits: selfish desires, ingratitude (greed & covetousness), destructive speech weph. 5: What distinguishes believers from unbelievers in God s eyes? weph. 5:5-11 wjames 4:1-4 - children of light living to please God (believers) - sons of disobedience who live for themselves (darkness) and make themselves the enemy of God (wrath) -conflict (a life characterized by quarrels and fights) -Matt. 18:17 principle: treat him as an unbeliever (prolonged conflict) 10

11 III. Conflict: What is it? Definition of Conflict: A difference in opinion or purpose (values) that frustrates a person s goals and desires (James 4:1-3) Where does conflict come from? What causes conflict? 1. Misunderstandings 3. Competition over resources 2. Differences in values or goals 4. Evil desires (heart idols) At what levels does conflict (or peace) exist? 1. with God (Rom. 5:1-2, 8-10; James 4:4) 2. with yourself (1 John 3:19-24) 3. with others (Matt. 5:21-22; Eph. 2:11-18) 11

12 How Does God Work in Conflict? 1. Why does God allow trials (problems) in our life? 2. What are the two ways God resolves our problems? Principle: Trusting God enables us to see conflicts not as accidents, but as opportunities. Principle: God doesn t tell us all we want to know; He tells us all we need to know. Principle: Your view of God affects your trust in God. In conflict you must decide whether or not you will trust God. 12

13 ABC s of Spiritual Growth 13

14 The Slippery Slope of Conflict 14

15 Peacemaker Ministries. Used with permission. For additional information about biblical peacemaking, visit 1. Escape Responses Three Conflict Responses -focus on self - peace-fakers -bring only temporary relief 2. Attack Responses -focus on others (wrongly) -lack of communication -avoidance, denial, & excusing -worsen the problem by postponing -public fighting - peace-breakers -critical spirit -damage relationships and witness -desire to win and be in control -blame, intimidate, anger, verbal assault, gossip, slander, violence, hatred 3. Peacemaking Responses -focus on God -personally & privately between people -goal is to restore relationships & people -overlook, confront graciously 15

16 Peacemaker Ministries. Used with permission. For additional information about biblical peacemaking, visit Peace Makers: Who Are They? Peacemakers are people who breathe grace: wmatt. 5:9 wjames 3:13-18 (context of James 4) Biblical peacemaking turns conflicts (frustration) into opportunities: (1)To glorify God: wmatt. 5:14-16; 1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Pet. 2:11-12 a)trust God b)obey God c)imitate God d)show God (2)Serve others: wluke 6:27-38; 1 Cor. 10:31-11:1; Gal. 6:1-2 a)encouragement b)carry their burdens c)expose sin at the root (3)Grow in Christlikeness: wrom. 8:28-29; James 1:2-4 a)repentance & change c)depend upon God b)patience & perseverance 16

17 IV. Conflict Resolution The Four G s In Biblical Peacemaking 1. Glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31) 2. Get the Log Out of Your Eye (Matthew 7:5) 3. Gently Restore (Galatians 6:1) 4. Go and Be Reconciled (Matthew 5:24) 17

18 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 1. Glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31-11:1) weph. 5:1-2 wphil. 4:2-9 wps. 37:1-9 wcol. 3:1-4 wrom. 12:17-21 a)focusing on God is the key to resolving conflict constructively b) Stewardship Principle : a steward doesn t manage things for himself, but rather for his Master (1 Cor. 4:1-2) -motivation (focus on God, not self) -strength (God s power, not my own) -dependance (trust God, not self) -response (God s way, not my way) c)satan is the enemy of peace and the promoter of conflict Chief Justice Warren Burger: The courts have been expected to fill the void created by the decline of the church, family, and neighborhood. 18

19 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 2. Get the Log out of Your Own Eye (Matt. 7:1-5) a)questions to ask: -Is this worth fighting over? -In what ways did I sin in this matter? -What rights am I worshipping? -How have I attempted to avoid my responsibility? b) The Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12) c) The Golden Result Justice Antonia Scalia: We are too quick to seek vindication or vengeance through adversarial proceedings rather than peace through mediation. Christians, as they should be slow to anger, should be slow to sue. 19

20 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking Get the Log out of Your Own Eye (Matt. 7:1-5) Six Steps to Take 1. Evaluate Your Own Contribution to the Problem (Matt. 7:3-5) 2. Define the Issues (Luke 12:13-15) 3. Overlook Minor Offenses (Prov. 19:11; 1 Pet. 4:8) 4. Check Your Own Attitude (Phil. 4:2-9) 5. Count the Cost (Matt. 5:23-26) 6. Exercise Your Responsibilities Not Your Rights (Matt. 7:12) 20

21 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking Get the Log out of Your Own Eye (Matt. 7:1-5) Conflict Starts in the Heart (James 4:1-4) Four Steps in the Progression of Heart Idols: 1. I DESIRE 2. I DEMAND 3. I JUDGE 4. I PUNISH 21

22 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking Get the Log out of Your Own Eye (Matt. 7:1-5) The Seven A s of Confession 1. Address only those involved 2. Avoid wrong words 3. Admit specific sin done 4. Acknowledge the hurt done to the other 5. Accept the consequences 6. Alter your attitudes and behavior 7. Ask for forgiveness 22

23 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 3. Gently Restore (Gal. 6:1-2; Matt. 18:15-17): a) Conflict creates opportunities to serve others: -people are weighed down with problems -people need encouragement and help carrying their burdens -people need help to see their wrongs and in their need for change b) Motivation in confrontation is shepherd love 23

24 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 3. Gently Restore (Gal. 6:1-2; Matt. 18:15) c) Principles in Restoration -after the log is out of your own eye -face to face -private and personal -go discerningly -go repeatedly (if needed) d) When do I go? -if someone has something against you (Matt. 5:23-24) -if the sin is too serious to overlook (Luke 17:3) 24

25 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 3. Gently Restore (Gal. 6:1-2) e) How should I go? -be quick to listen (James 1:19) -bring hope through the gospel (John 4:7-42) -speak the truth in love (Prov. 15:1-4; Eph. 4:15-16) -the tongue of the wise brings healing (Prov. 12:18) 25

26 1. Context of Matthew 18 Matthew 18 Blueprint for Conflict Resolution a) humility (18:1-5) b) selflessness (18:6-10) c) Shepherd love (18:11-14): parable of lost sheep d) Confrontation and restoration (18:15-17): sin e) Authority and accountability (18:18-20): the church f) Forgiveness (18:21-35): parable of unmerciful servant 26

27 2. Principles of Matthew 18 Matthew 18 Blueprint for Conflict Resolution a) prolonged, unresolved conflict involves sin (Matt. 5:21-24) b) keep the circle of people involved in conflict as small as possible for as long as possible (18:15-17) c) face to face is the best way in most cases d) if you are not able to resolve conflict in private, ask a few godly people to assist in reconciliation e) the church s priority is to mend broken relationships (Gal. 6:1-2) and broken worship (Matt. 5:23-24) f) God views accountability and discipline as an act of love and a means to restoring his lost sheep (18:15-17) 27

28 Matthew 18 Blueprint for Conflict Resolution 3. Five Steps in Reconciliation and Restoration (1)overlook minor offenses (Prov. 19:11; 1 Peter 3:8-12; Luke 17:3-4) wfour questions to ask (2)talk in private (1 Peter 3:8-12) (3)take one or two with you (4)tell it to the church (5)treat him as a non-believer (don t pretend everything is alright) a)it protects the Lord s name from dishonor b)it protects other believers from being led astray c)it helps the rebellious person to see their sin and repent 4. Goal: Restoration and Reconciliation (Lev. 19:17-18) Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Nothing is so cruel as the tenderness that consigns another to sin. 28

29 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 4. Go and Be Reconciled (Matt. 5:24) wmatt. 6:12 wmatt. 18:21-35 wmatt. 7:12 wphil. 2:3-4 wrom. 12:18 wjohn 13:34-35 w1 Pet. 2:19, 4:19 a)what is not forgiveness? b)what is forgiveness? -conscious choice (decision) -an act of the will -release of a debt owed -costly Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping others will die from it. 29

30 The Four G s of Biblical Peacemaking 4. Go and Be Reconciled (Matt. 5:24) c)how should you forgive? -Eph. 4:32 d)what does forgiveness look like? -Two stages of forgiveness -Four promises (Me, You, Others, Us) e)can you ever mention the sin again? -Principle -Reason f)what about the consequences of sin? -Principle (Key) -Reason g)is restitution incompatible with forgiveness? Is it required? h)summary principle for forgiveness and reconciliation: - Replacement Principle 30

31 PAUSE Acronym (Five Principles in Resolving Conflict) (before you go) (relationships) (interests) (for creative solutions) (objectively all options) 31

32 Spiritual Weapons in the War of Conflict Military Principle: the best defense is an effective offense. What are we fighting for? (2 Tim. 4:7-8) What are we fighting against? -2 Cor. 10:3-5 -Eph. 6:10-18 With what weapons do we fight with? How do we fight in conflict? (Romans 12:14-21) 1)Control your tongue (12:14) 2)Seek godly counsel (12:15-16) 3)Keep doing what is right (12:17) 4)Recognize your limits (12:18-19) 5)Love: the ultimate weapon (12:20-21) 32

33 Peacemaker Ministries. Used with permission. For additional information about biblical peacemaking, visit Picturing the Heart of Conflict What Causes Quarrels and Conflicts? James 4:1 Offensive Weapons 33

34 Biblical Conflict Resolution Summary Questions Resources 34

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