Tag: Matthew 5:9

Biblical conflict resolution

Scripture reading for July 22nd: Matthew 18

Key Scriptures: Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I among them.””

Our Father is a God of order and hates dissension between brothers. Here Jesus outlines a way to deal with conflict caused by sin against a brother or sister in the Church. If you are wronged, the first step is to go alone, privately, to the brother and tell the wrong. The other party may not even be aware of the wrong. This should be done privately so that none of it would be gossiped about or shared but forgiven and forgotten quickly with little or no disruption of relationship. If there is refusal to even listen, the next step is to take along one or two others who are godly and respected and try to get the problem resolved. If this brings no results, then the matter can be shared with the Church. This may by the whole body of Christ or possibly just the elders. They then confront the party and if there is refusal to repent, then discipline can be taken. Whatever is bound on earth will be bound in heaven. Agreement is a powerful thing for Jesus is there too! The whole goal is forgiveness and restoration with as little fuss as possible.

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for clear instruction in resolving conflict between brothers or sisters. Help me to always practice and obey Your teaching. I want to be a peace-maker, following the example of Jesus Christ. May Your Word bring glory to Your Name and peace in Your body, the Church!

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

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Don’t Quarrel on the way!

Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 45-47

Families and churches are sometimes prone to conflict!  I know because I live in a family, have attended churches for many years, and have pastored for twenty years in three different churches.  I have experienced conflict in family and church settings and sometimes been responsible for it myself.  Sometimes conflict comes from misunderstanding and poor communication.  Other times it comes from jealousy or envy.  Sometimes it comes from sin and wrong-doing.  Everybody wants to blame somebody else and arguments ensue about who is at fault!  Have you experienced that to?

In our reading today, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers after a series of  encounters with them.  The brothers still had guilt from what they did and when Joseph revealed himself to them, they were astonished, speechless, and terrified!  (Genesis 45:1-7)  Joseph had to reassure them that it was truly him.   He understood their feelings.  He had probably had to work through these same kinds of feelings himself over the years.  God gave him understanding of the greater purpose  that was being worked out.  Joseph shares this with his brothers to encourage them.  “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

As Joseph sent them away to bring Israel and the rest of the family down to Egypt to save them during the next 5 years of famine, he warned them not to quarrel on the way!  It doesn’t appear that repentance had yet taken place.  Feelings of guilt and shame are no longer able to control us when we truly repent.  He forgives and forgets our sins.  (Psalm 103:11-12) Blaming others never helps either.  We can only take responsibility for our own sins and forgive others of theirs.  When we do that, quarreling is greatly reduced and peace in the family results.  God is working out his purposes in our families and homes even amidst the conflict and sin so prevalent in our lives.  Often it’s hard to see the big picture.

Jesus Christ was sent before us to save us!  He saw God’s big picture and died for our sins.  If we confess our sins and repent of them, he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all guilt and shame.  He came to bring peace in our own hearts and he says that peacemakers are blessed! (Matthew 5:9)  May we be able to heed the ancient warning of Joseph and receive the blessing of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.  “Don’t quarrel on the way!”  (Genesis 45:24)

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