From time to time we all find ourselves in a conflict situation and the way we handle this as believers is critical. That is because adversity met well can bring growth, but adversity met badly can lead us into further sin. For this reason it is often popular to speak of 'doing conflict'. However, the Bible doesn't speak so much of doing conflict, as how to avoid it. And in place of conflict for conflicts sake, it speaks of loving challenge, rebuke and wisdom.
I once found a church that had on their website a code of conduct for members. The principles were really good, but even if we don't have such a formal thing, there is a code of conduct in the scriptures!
We all handle conflict differently. The wonderful thing is that the scriptures have so much treasure about the way we should conduct ourselves and the kinds of behaviours that will be life giving and life robbing. I have a lot to learn with all of this and I am constantly aware of the separation between what I profess to believe and how I act. That is why the gospel is such good news. Because it is good news for failures and the power for forgiveness and change.
Here are a few things to bear in mind from God's Word and I pray they will be treasure for you.
- The prudent ignores an insult
- Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life
- A soft answer turns away wrath
- It is better to have a little, with the fear of the Lord. (Better to fear the Lord, than win.)
- Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.
- Sin is not ended by multiplying words
- A companion of fools suffers harm
- A hot tempered person stirs up conflict
- Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones
- Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly
- Starting a quarrel is like breaching a damn, so drop the matter before a flood breaks out
- Listen to advise and accept discipline and you will be counted among the wise
- Who can say 'I have kept my heart pure'?
- A false witness will perish
- by wisdom a house is built
- Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away from anger
- Do not fret because of evil doers
- A quick tempered person does foolish things
- The fruit of wisdom is better than fine gold
- Charming speech and flattery? Malice may be concealed.
- An open rebuke is better than concealed love.
- let someone else praise you and not your own mouth.
- Does not wisdom call out to you?
- Those who find wisdom find life.
Sure there are others...
Did you spot that they all came from one book of the Bible? Why not go through with a pen and ask the Holy Spirit to shape you with them for Jesus' glory.