November 18, 2022

Conflict Reconciliation Is The Mission

Audio Transcript

As leaders, we all have conflict in our lives. You cannot be in a relationship without conflict, and conflict — left unresolved — leads to broken relationships.

We have all experienced the benefits when conflict is resolved, and have seen the damage that happens when conflict is left unresolved.

Which brings us to our questions for today:

– Why, as followers of Jesus, must we do everything we can to resolve conflict?

– What is doing everything we can, and how do we know we did everything we could?

– Should we ever let them walk away? If so, when is it appropriate to re-engage?

Here is a question for your questions: Did Jesus move away from conflict or toward it? Jesus moved toward conflict and resolved the greatest conflict the world has ever known. He moved into and reconciled broken sinners with a Holy God.

Reconciling Conflict Is The Mission

Here is a second question for your questions: Do you think Jesus was glad to engage in conflict or was He reluctant? He was probably pretty excited about the opportunity to reconcile conflict. An example of this is when the religious leaders tried to corner Jesus in Mark 12:13-17 by asking Jesus if they should or shouldn't pay taxes. Famously, Jesus tells them to render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God’s. Jesus was able to get to the heart, and show them that if they are going to participate in Caesar's system, they should pay taxes.

As Sandy Willson said recently, leaders who are followers of Jesus cannot tolerate unreconciled relationships. Jesus did not tolerate unreconciled relationships and neither should we.

We begin to do this by keeping in mind 3 things:

  • Every moment is spiritual
  • Every moment is a spiritual battle
  • The people we have conflict with are not our enemy (Ephesians 6:10-12)

3 Key Questions

What does God want?

This is the first thing for a follower of Jesus to ask. God sent His son to reconcile all things to Himself — which means God is a reconciling God. And, He reconciled so that we would do the same. We are urged to live in peace with each other, and no one should pay back wrong with wrong — vengeance is not ours (1 Thessalonians 5:13-15).

What does the other person want?

You have to understand if the other person is really wanting to resolve it. They may be giving you signs that they do or do not want to solve the conflict.

Second, you have to understand if they are a Christian or not. If they are a Christian, this changes the dynamic. If you claim to follow the same God, that is an important conflict to resolve.

Another important thing to know is whether or not you have an ongoing relationship with this person.

Who am I?

There are two parts to answering this question: your role and what you need. We need to know our role is to be a reconciler. And, when you get down to it, we have everything we need.

Are you backing away from the conflict because of your needs, because it costs you something? It cost Jesus everything to resolve the conflict He came to overcome. Likewise, it is going to cost you something whenever you resolve conflict.

Are you backing away from the conflict for institutional reasons, because it will damage the reputation of the organization if something comes to light? Backing away from conflict for institutional reasons has gotten the church in a lot of trouble. Seeking to preserve the reputation of an institution while neglecting to resolve wrongs done by that institution is not biblical.

It is the same for nonprofits and businesses. Are you protesting your business and your personal interests or am I trying to move this toward reconciliation? We cannot avoid conflict because we “don't have time” or because it will cost us something.

There could be a better time to resolve the conflict or maybe the other person simply isn't ready. Sometimes, you have to let the other person get to the end of themselves before the conflict can be resolved. We covered this in our previous podcast, To Lead – Know What People Want.

Matthew 18:15-20 provides us with a model for resolving conflict. If you want to learn more about this model, go to our article Leaders Make Peace.

Begin With The End In Mind

Jesus begins with the end in mind — the end is why He came. And, where we are headed shines light on how we are to live today.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son." – Revelation 21:1-7

In the end, everything is reconciled — everything is made new. So we must join Him. We join Him in making all things new by recognizing that it is finished, Jesus paid the price, and now we get to do the work of reconciliation He has accomplished. Victory is assured, and we need to live in a victorious way. If you know God has got you and the victory is won, we can resolve our conflicts without needing to constantly seek only what is best for us.

Links

Leaders Make Peace

To Lead – Know What People Want

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Howard Graham
Howard Graham
Executive Director

Audio Transcript

As leaders, we all have conflict in our lives. You cannot be in a relationship without conflict, and conflict — left unresolved — leads to broken relationships.

We have all experienced the benefits when conflict is resolved, and have seen the damage that happens when conflict is left unresolved.

Which brings us to our questions for today:

– Why, as followers of Jesus, must we do everything we can to resolve conflict?

– What is doing everything we can, and how do we know we did everything we could?

– Should we ever let them walk away? If so, when is it appropriate to re-engage?

Here is a question for your questions: Did Jesus move away from conflict or toward it? Jesus moved toward conflict and resolved the greatest conflict the world has ever known. He moved into and reconciled broken sinners with a Holy God.

Reconciling Conflict Is The Mission

Here is a second question for your questions: Do you think Jesus was glad to engage in conflict or was He reluctant? He was probably pretty excited about the opportunity to reconcile conflict. An example of this is when the religious leaders tried to corner Jesus in Mark 12:13-17 by asking Jesus if they should or shouldn't pay taxes. Famously, Jesus tells them to render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God’s. Jesus was able to get to the heart, and show them that if they are going to participate in Caesar's system, they should pay taxes.

As Sandy Willson said recently, leaders who are followers of Jesus cannot tolerate unreconciled relationships. Jesus did not tolerate unreconciled relationships and neither should we.

We begin to do this by keeping in mind 3 things:

  • Every moment is spiritual
  • Every moment is a spiritual battle
  • The people we have conflict with are not our enemy (Ephesians 6:10-12)

3 Key Questions

What does God want?

This is the first thing for a follower of Jesus to ask. God sent His son to reconcile all things to Himself — which means God is a reconciling God. And, He reconciled so that we would do the same. We are urged to live in peace with each other, and no one should pay back wrong with wrong — vengeance is not ours (1 Thessalonians 5:13-15).

What does the other person want?

You have to understand if the other person is really wanting to resolve it. They may be giving you signs that they do or do not want to solve the conflict.

Second, you have to understand if they are a Christian or not. If they are a Christian, this changes the dynamic. If you claim to follow the same God, that is an important conflict to resolve.

Another important thing to know is whether or not you have an ongoing relationship with this person.

Who am I?

There are two parts to answering this question: your role and what you need. We need to know our role is to be a reconciler. And, when you get down to it, we have everything we need.

Are you backing away from the conflict because of your needs, because it costs you something? It cost Jesus everything to resolve the conflict He came to overcome. Likewise, it is going to cost you something whenever you resolve conflict.

Are you backing away from the conflict for institutional reasons, because it will damage the reputation of the organization if something comes to light? Backing away from conflict for institutional reasons has gotten the church in a lot of trouble. Seeking to preserve the reputation of an institution while neglecting to resolve wrongs done by that institution is not biblical.

It is the same for nonprofits and businesses. Are you protesting your business and your personal interests or am I trying to move this toward reconciliation? We cannot avoid conflict because we “don't have time” or because it will cost us something.

There could be a better time to resolve the conflict or maybe the other person simply isn't ready. Sometimes, you have to let the other person get to the end of themselves before the conflict can be resolved. We covered this in our previous podcast, To Lead – Know What People Want.

Matthew 18:15-20 provides us with a model for resolving conflict. If you want to learn more about this model, go to our article Leaders Make Peace.

Begin With The End In Mind

Jesus begins with the end in mind — the end is why He came. And, where we are headed shines light on how we are to live today.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son." – Revelation 21:1-7

In the end, everything is reconciled — everything is made new. So we must join Him. We join Him in making all things new by recognizing that it is finished, Jesus paid the price, and now we get to do the work of reconciliation He has accomplished. Victory is assured, and we need to live in a victorious way. If you know God has got you and the victory is won, we can resolve our conflicts without needing to constantly seek only what is best for us.

Links

Leaders Make Peace

To Lead – Know What People Want

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