I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. –1 Corinthians 1:10
There is no person who lives without some conflict in his or her life. Whether differences are happening in your marriage, with your kids, with a coworker, or with a friend, there is no permanent escape from conflict in this life. Yet God calls for Christians to live a life of harmony with each other. Does this mean we are going to get along with everyone we meet? No. However, it does mean that we are supposed to live a life that strives for reconciliation, a life that is like an orchestra with different harmony and instruments, but one song.
So how can you make sure that you are singing the same song as your Christian brothers and sisters? When you face conflict, the first thing you need to do is ask God for help. God is the giver of wisdom (James 1:5). Next, face your conflict. It only causes more pain to run away from it (Proverbs 24:26). When you talk with the person, the next step is to take accountability for your part in the conflict (Matthew 7:3) and to make sure you are treating that person with respect by not using blaming or insulting language (Ephesians 4:31). As you speak with the person you are confronting, one of the most important things you can do is to listen. Do everything you can to understand where the other person is coming from (Romans 15:1).
Relationships matter to God. He desires unity for us and wants us to resolve our problems, not walk away from relationships over conflict. Reconciliation is the act of bringing harmony back into a relationship. It may take time for some of the emotional wounds to heal and to trust again, but God calls us to work towards this. The ability to forgive and to love each other through our sinfulness is one of the most beautiful aspects of the Christian faith. And while not every conflict can be resolved with all people, you need to make sure you have done all you can to resolve the conflict.
1. A friend used to tell me that you must always make sure your side of the fence is clean. How does this relate to this devotional and to you?
2. Are there relationships in your life that have conflicts that have been left festering over time? Ask God for wisdom to see your part in beginning to heal that broken relationship.
Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15; Colossians 3:8