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How to resolve conflicts Biblically

Desperate Households  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Introduction

The United States has more lawyers per capita than any other country in the world. In 2005, there were 799,960 licensed lawyers in the United States - one for every 320 people. Obviously, all these lawyers need to have something to do. And as a result, the United States also leads the world in lawsuits. We've all heard the story of Stella Liebeck, who sued McDonald's in 1992 after spilling coffee into her own lap. Stella was awarded $2.9 million in damages by a New Mexico jury, and ever since then, McDonald's has had to warn people that their coffee is hot. [If you want to add in more examples of frivolous lawsuits, check out www.stellaawards.com.]
This is not to bash lawyers. But we have to ask the question: Is there a better way to resolve conflict than to drag someone to court? For those of us that follow Christ, how do we respond to our brothers and sisters in Christ when we are wronged?
The Best of People Have Conflicts
1. Jesus had conflicts with the Pharisees...(Jesus was always on the right side)
2. Jesus had conflicts with the Sadducees...
In the church...
a. Ananias & Sapphira...
b. Paul and Barnabas (2nd Missionary Journey)
c. Paul & Peter
Great opportunity to shine...Jesus said: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
The best way to deal with most conflicts is by avoiding them. But we don’t always have the option to avoid them.
Solomon said, "It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel" ().
‘A kind word turns away wrath but grievous words stir up strife”
THE BIBLE instructs us HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICTS...
1. First we need a willing attitude
2. Second we must take practical steps
A willing Attitude:
First, you must be willing to resolve the conflicts. The willingness to actually do something about the conflicts between you and your mate is the most important place to start.
In marriage counseling, this is the first question I usually ask a couple: "Are you willing to do whatever the Bible requires to resolve this conflict?"
The answer to this question reveals very quickly whether anything will be done.
Are you willing to resolve the conflicts between you and your spouse? Are you willing to take the Biblical steps that God requires of you?
With two willing hearts there is no problem that can't be solved.
God promises in His Word that all He is looking for is a willing heart to obey Him, and His blessings will flow out to you. He promised His people,
"If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat of the good of the land" Then He warned them,
“But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken".
Notice the importance God has placed on this one attitude of the heart. Start here brothers and sisters. Ask God to give you a willing heart to resolve the conflicts.
You may even have to start with asking God to give you a willingness to be made willing. He can do this too!
(1st. You must be willing to resolve the conflicts)
Second, you must be willing to ask God for help. Jesus said to His disciples,
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"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak"
Even though Jesus knew that His disciples had a willingness to follow Him, He also knew the weakness of their flesh. This is why He encouraged them to pray. He knew that only the power of the Holy Spirit could rule over the weakness of the flesh.
Do you realize how weak and insufficient you are in your own strength to do what God requires?
If you do, ask Him now to empower you with His Spirit to help you to lovingly seek reconciliation with your mate. Where you are weak, He will make you strong (, )!
This change of relationship with Jesus also entails willingness. Jesus said of many in His day, "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life"
Are you willing to come to Him, to turn from your life of independence to one of trusting Him? Are you willing to turn from your sin and rebellion to follow Him?
He died to forgive you and longs to pardon you right now. Ask Him to come in and take over your heart and life. As you reconcile with Him, you will be able to reconcile with your spouse.
(1st. You must be willing to resolve the conflicts. 2. You must be willing to ask God for help)
Third, you must be willing to please God.
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This is essential before you begin to try to take any practical action in the process of reconciliation. The desire to please God will instantly motivate you to action that you would never ordinarily take.
When Paul the Apostle wrote to the Thessalonian church he urged them regarding how they Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
Notice, he associated their correct walk with the desire to please God.
This attitude is so important because the basic problem in every marriage is that desire to please self. Many conflicts are simply the result of selfishness, self-will, or self-righteousness. According to James, self is the root of every conflict and evil that occurs in any relationship,
"Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there" Therefore, to deal with your selfish desires you need a higher motivation, that of pleasing the Father.
When you choose to please God, you strike at the root of your problems. If you obey God's Word, you can't help but please Him in every way. With this attitude, a willing heart, and the power of the Holy Spirit, you are now ready to take these practical steps:
I. First we need a willing attitude
II. Second we must take practical steps
1. You must restrain your anger.
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This is a choice you must make with every conflict that occurs because explosive anger is the primary reason that nothing gets resolved.
Many have said to me, "Dan, I just can't control my temper." Yet, this statement is in direct contradiction to what Scripture declares.
You can control your anger, if you will ask God for His help. He has the strength you need to do what you find impossible.
Solomon said, It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city
Restraining your anger is one way to stop a argument from ever starting in the first place.
Likewise, once an argument has started, you still have the choice to stop it.
ILL>. Lynda and I would be in a heated argument…the phone rings “Hello”
You must rule your own spirit instead of letting your spirit rule you. This takes greater spiritual might and strength than it does to take a city in war.
Our actions, words, and attitudes can be controlled even when anger is present.
Anger is a symptom not a root cause.
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We should look at the underling roots of anger. We feel our lives are going to fall apart in an area...we feel pulled apart, “I am falling apart”.
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ILL>. We are always trying to get it together”.
ILL.> The principle of confusion. As we try to fix one area of our lives, it causes confusion in another area. The issue of unintended consequences.
ILL>. I try to create a perfect life....so I spend a lot of time at work, but then my wife is complaining I don’t spend enough time with her, then I adjust and my kids then are neglected, then I spend more time, join the baseball team, start coaching them...then my boss gets upset....we can not figure out how to be centered and whole...
Jesus said: “I will make you whole”
But it is only when Jesus is at the center, that we are unified as a person, in harmony with God, who brings love, peace, and security.
When you see an angry person, there is something going on inside...they are afraid, or frustrated, fatigued, feeling rejection.
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Some causes of anger:
a. Fear
  "So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."

b. Frustration
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“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart
c. Fatigue
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
d. Rejection
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.
But how can you restrain your anger? Where do you get this greater might to control your spirit?
By a choice to ask God for help and by your personal surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit. You make the choice to please God by stopping the escalation of your anger.
Take a five minute time out for prayer so you can calm down. Remember, it's not by your might or by your power, but by His Spirit
Your anger is a powerful force, but His Spirit is even more powerful. Have you experienced His greater power? It's there for you.
Communion: We have all failed in conflicts…come to Jesus, let Him be the center of your life
But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
A.W. Tozer - "We can never know the enormity of our sin, neither is it necessary that we should. What we can know is that 'where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.'
2. God's grace is BIGGER than your sin!
GOD KNOWS ALL ABOUT YOU AND YOUR SIN…
"God cannot learn. He knows everything there is to know. He knows instantly and effortlessly everything we have ever said, done, or thought. There are no deep dark secrets that we can hide from Him. He knows that very thing of which we are most ashamed. So it is that He can forgive us so completely when we accept His gospel. We are no longer subject to any accusation of guilt, because nothing has been held back from His understanding."
3. If you're carrying guilt of some past sin... Grace asks "WHY?"
Receive Christ today
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