by Billy Starkey
Read Matthew 18:15-20
“Take a stand, take a friend, take a pastor, take a hike.”
I heard this line in high school many times as I sat in mission trip training. This particular principle came from Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:15-20, where he speaks about resolving conflict and it’s stuck with me ever since!
If your life is like mine, conflict is something that can come around often. So what do you do about it? I believe God has given us a pattern here to use our words to seek reconciliation with another person.
Check it out:
Step 1 – Take a stand (v 15)
First, go to the other person and talk to them about the conflict. Humbly point out where they have wronged you and seek resolution. Notice here that Jesus says to do this privately – that means that you shouldn’t post about it on Facebook.
Step 2 – Take a friend (v 16)
If step one doesn’t work, take a friend or two along and have them speak into the conflict. Remember, we’re seeking reconciliation – no ganging up!
Step 3 – Take a pastor (v 17a)
At this point, if nothing else has worked, it may be appropriate to talk to a pastor who knows the both of you and ask him to mediate. He can help the two of you see one another’s side and to ultimately find the resolution God desires.
Step 4 – Take a hike (v 17b)
If all else fails, it’s time to drop it! Give up the fight and pray for the person instead. Ask God to help you interact with that person with love and to bring about reconciliation in his time.
Challenge: Deal with conflict.
Is there a relationship that came to mind while reading this? Make today the day that you start dealing with conflict according to Matthew 18. Your words can be used to bring resolution out of conflict.