Keeping a Healthy Spirit in Conflict - Wholesome Life Journal

Keeping a Healthy Spirit in Conflict

keeping-a-healthy-spirit-in-conflict-12My wife and I recently moved into an apartment near downtown Minneapolis. We live in a very diverse neighborhood with people from all different backgrounds. Across the street from our place, there is a park. It’s constantly filled with the laughter and screams from our neighborhood’s children. And as kids usually are, sometimes play time can turn a little uncivil.

Someone refuses to share a toy, someone pushes someone down. It only takes a moment for all-out war to erupt between two (or more) parties. It’s easy to look at these tears and fighting and label it as childish.

But there’s an important lesson here about how we disagree with one another. There’s a way to handle disagreement and get negative emotions out of our own hearts. It’s healthy. It’s Biblical.

You may know the words of Jesus in Matthew 18 where he urged his disciples to forgive— over, and over, and over again. But Jesus didn’t just teach us how many times to forgive one another, he also taught us how to live with one another and work through disagreements before they ever get nasty— before they lead to cynicism and bitterness and resentment.

If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love. (Read More)

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