Biblical conflict control!
by Clint Baker
Romans 12:18 Says "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." God told us right before this not to repay evil for evil. In vrs. 18 He says "if possible", God wants us to do everything possible to live in peace, he also expects, even though we may not be the one at fault, to go be the one to try to make it right. But it will not always come because it also depends on the others persons attitudes and responses. But we as mature Christians need to be the ones to make the first move, God expects this. The Bible makes it clear that no church is exempt from conflict but this offers opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
To help us with this, Jesus gave us the example of the work of a peacemaker (Mat.18:15-20, 5:9). In doing this, Jesus is the ultimate role model (Eph. 2:14-18). All Christians in conflict should use God's pattern for making peace to show unbelievers their shared faith and the love of Christ. Each party involved, whether directly or indirectly has a role in the process of mending the conflict. Jesus tells us this in Mathew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Those who study the Bible refer to this as showing "common grace", an small example of the grace that God has given us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus!
We should also as Christians be the first to try to reconcile a conflict between ourselves and nonbelievers in the same way. If they do not except apology, then we again have done all we can do. The one thing that we can do in both cases though is as God's Word says, Pray and be kind to your enemies, "for it is like pouring hot coals upon their necks." Because at this point it is between them and God, not you and them. (Matt.5:44, Proverbs 25:22)
I will close by this quote, I believe by Richard Baxter, "Do all you can to be reconciled to others, but remember that you cannot force others to do what is right. If you have done everything within your power to resolve a conflict, you have fulfilled your responsibility to God and may stop trying to solve the problem (Rom. 12:18)… It is not necessary or wise to waste time, energy, and resources fretting about someone who stubbornly refuses to be reconciled."