Church #nofilter 8.4
Thank God for his word and ask his Spirit to speak to you as you read and think about it.
Read: Matthew 7:1-5
The following is advice from Peacewise, a Christian organisation that helps Christians navigate conflict.
One of the most challenging principles of peacemaking is set forth in Matthew 7:5, where Jesus says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
There are generally two kinds of “logs” you need to look for when dealing with conflict. First, you need to ask whether you have had a critical, negative, or overly sensitive attitude that has led to unnecessary conflict. One of the best ways to do this is to spend some time meditating on Philippians 4:2-9, which describes the kind of attitude Christians should have even when they are involved in a conflict.
The second kind of log you must deal with is actual sinful words and actions. Because you are often blind to your own sins, you may need an honest friend or adviser who will help you to take an objective look at yourself and face up to your contribution to a conflict.
When you identify ways that you have wronged another person, it is important to admit your wrongs honestly and thoroughly.
The most important aspect of getting the log out of your own eye is to go beyond the confession of wrong behaviour and face up to the root cause of that behaviour. The Bible teaches that conflict comes from the desires that battle in your heart (James 4:1-3; Matt. 15:18-19). Some of these desires are obviously sinful, such as wanting to conceal the truth, bend others to your will, or have revenge. In many situations, however, conflict is fuelled by good desires that you have elevated to sinful demands, such as a craving to be understood, loved, respected, or vindicated.
Any time you become excessively preoccupied with something, even a good thing, and seek to find happiness, security or fulfilment in it rather than in God, you are guilty of idolatry. Idolatry inevitably leads to conflict with God (“You shall have no other gods before me”). It also causes conflict with other people. As James writes, when we want something but don’t get it, we kill and covet, quarrel and fight (James 4:1-4).
As God guides and empowers these efforts, you can find freedom from the idols that fuel conflict and be motivated to make choices that will please and honour Christ. This change in heart will usually speed a resolution to a present problem, and at the same time improve your ability to avoid similar conflicts in the future.
· Thank God for sharing his wisdom on all issues, including conflict.
· Ask God to reveal your contribution to the conflicts in your life.
· Ask God to forgive you for the parts you’ve played and to help you apologise to the other person for them.