We are all have family and other people surrounds us. But becoz all of us are imperfect, conflict is irresistible. We might be misunderstood by people we loved, we might do something wrong to others and otherwise, we might do something funny that make peoples angry with us, or maybe sometimes it’s just the people around you acting weird.
Since conflict is irresistible, what should we do if we face some conflict, especially within our family, both your real family or in the family of God? Remember that you cannot break your relationship with your family..whoever he/she is and whatever he/she had done to you
I read a passage from Matthew 18: 15-17, and I do believe you have heard about it so many times in life, especially if you are a Christian
Herewith I quote the passage of Matthew 18 from Amplified Bible version.
15If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
17If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.(A)
Jesus said in those verses that if your brother wrongs you, meaning that there are conflicts there, you should do things in 4 steps – that’s what i called 4T to handle conflict in life – as per followed:
- Talk with him/her privately. (vs 15)
You need to talk with him/her privately, instead of gossiping around or keeping it within yourselves, you need to go and talk with him/her.If he/she listen to you, then, it’s over, you have won back your brother/sister.
However, we know that in life, it’s not going to be easy. We may want to talk with him/her, but sometimes he/she doesn’t want to talk with us. He/she avoids us, looks at us with a disgusting face, sarcastic remarks, etc.
If you have tried to talk with him/her privately, and it just didn’t work at all. No Worries!
We just need to go on the next step.
- Take along with you one or two others (vs 16)
Why we should take along one or two others with us? It’s said : so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.For me, I will suggested that this one or two others person should be someone that more mature and wiser in his/her conduct. Maybe you can take along your parents, your leader, your cell group leader, your pastor, your big brother/sister, your teacher, your mentor, or whoever that you may find it fits the place.
But do remember that you can’t put your brother/sister to the corner. You still need to talk with him/her with love.
IF it still doesn’t work. No worries! Jesus told us that there is the 3rd step.
- Tell it to the church (vs17)
We need to bring the issues, the conflict to the church. But how about if the conflict is actually happened in our work place? or in school? or in family? What should we do?I would rather suggest you to bring it to the members of the organisation and discuss about the issue and have them talk with the person. We may bring the issue to our leader/boss, and discuss with the others how to resolve or handle the particular person that’s so stubborn.
If the person still very stubborn and won’t listen or obey to the Church/congregation/others. Then, we should use our last resort.
- Treat them as a pagan and a tax collector (vs 16)
How did the Jews treat the pagans/gentiles and tax collectors? They avoids these two groups of people. They dislike these two groups of people.*my thought : so, if those 3 steps above were failed, then I will be allowed and can go ahead to dislike them…woohooo…. i did the right things. It’s not my fault if i hate or isolate them, or if i don’t want to talk with them anymore*
Unfortunately, that thought was wrong!
This verse was said by Jesus. How did Jesus treats the gentiles and tax collector?
He sits with them, has dinner with them, fellowships with them.
And to make it clear, we need to read from the Message version.
If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love. ~ The Message
So, how did Jesus treat the people that won’t listen to Him privately, even if He had bring witness or even if He already bring the case to the church?
He taught us that we need to:
– Start over from scratch.
– Confront the person with the need for repentance
– Offer again God’s forgiving love.
It’s the hardest step that I could ever think of. Coz, starting over from scratch is something. However, It is the right things to do.
I believe we cannot do those steps alone. We need God’s love and grace
Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
12 -14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
WE should put on LOVE regardless of what else we want to put on. How to put on LOVE in our life? By making decision each day that we want to put on LOVE
Have a blessed day ahead!