Resolving Conflicts

Posted on 15 Nov 2020, Pastor: Tolu Makinde
  • Title: Resolving Conflicts
    Text: Acts 15:36-41
    [Act 15:36]  And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
    [Act 15:37]  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
    [Act 15:38]  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
    [Act 15:39]  And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
    [Act 15:40]  And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
    [Act 15:41]  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
    • One way or another, in your Christian walk conflicts will arise.
    • We are already in a conflict with darkness, so that’s a given
    • However, there will be conflicts with other believers.  The question is “how do you resolve it?”
    • Paul and Barnabas had a conflict.  Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on the journey, but Paul refused.
    • The contention was so sharp between them that they went their separate ways.
    • Barnabas went to Cyprus with John Mark, but Paul departed with Silas.
    • After the separation, we did not hear much about Barnabas, he was replaced with Silas
      • May conflict not separate you from those that your destiny is connected with in Jesus name
    • We can’t avoid conflict, unless we are a “yes” man.
    • How do we deal with conflicts? 
    • I pray that the Lord will give us a better understanding through this short teaching in Jesus name
    Main Topic
    • Conflicts will happen, it is only a matter of time
      • Paul and Barnabas – Acts 15:36-41
      • Paul and Peter – Gal. 2:11-14
        • [Gal 2:11]  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
        • [Gal 2:12]  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
        • [Gal 2:13]  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
        • [Gal 2:14]  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
      • Jesus and Peter – Matt. 16:21-23
        • [Mat 16:21]  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
        • [Mat 16:22]  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
        • [Mat 16:23]  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
      • Abraham and Lot – Gen. 13:5-13
        • [Gen 13:5]  And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
        • [Gen 13:6]  And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
        • [Gen 13:7]  And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
        • [Gen 13:8]  And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
        • [Gen 13:9]  Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
        • [Gen 13:10]  And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
        • [Gen 13:11]  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
        • [Gen 13:12]  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
        • [Gen 13:13]  But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
      • Martha and Mary – Luke 10:38-42
        • [Luk 10:38]  Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
        • [Luk 10:39]  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
        • [Luk 10:40]  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
        • [Luk 10:41]  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
        • [Luk 10:42]  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
    • Conflicts can be resolved, and it should not become an outright war against another believer.
    • However, you will not always resolve every conflict, you will have to figure out how to live with it.  At peace.
    • There are believers that you will not get along with, no matter how hard you try.
      • It is because you are of a different tribe
        • There are 12 tribes of Israel, there are more in the body of Christ
        • Just as all 12 are children of God, all of us in the body of Christ are children of God
        • The 12 did not always get along, all of us will not always get along
      • For some believers, you connect with the Holy Ghost in them immediately
      • For other believers, for some reason you don’t.  That doesn’t make them the enemy.
        • Be at peace with them, and accept them for who they are.  I will explain later.
        • They are still children of God
        • They are carriers of the Holy Ghost
        • They are running a race to heaven as well
        • So, they are not your enemy, just because you do not get along.
      • God did not call us to get along with every believer, He called us to be at peace with every believer
    • Tripartite Man 
      • [1Th 5:23]  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      • A man/woman is a spirit, lives in a body, and have a soul
      • Any conflict you have with that person is not with the body of the person, nor is it with the spirit of the person, provided the spirit is born again.
      • The conflict is most likely with the soul.
      • The soul is where the consciousness of the person is, where the person’s decision making process has been shaped
      • It is shaped by where they grew up, how they grew up, the environment, their socio-economic status, etc.
      • However, when we get to heaven, it is the spirit that you will meet, not the soul.
      • Our conflict with the soul of the person therefore has no relevance
    • We must learn to be at peace, even if we do not get along
      • [Mat 5:9]  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
      • [Gal 5:22]  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…
      • [Heb 12:14]  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
      • [Rom 12:18]  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
    Resolving Conflicts – Gen. 13:5-13
    • The main goal of resolving conflict is to have your brother back
    • Abraham approached Lot to resolve the conflict
      • Step 1: Approach the person one on one : [Mat 18:15]  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
      • Step 2: If he doesn’t hear you, take one or two matured believers with you : [Mat 18:16]  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
      • Step 3: If he still doesn’t hear them, go to the church: [Mat 18:17]  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
      • Step 4: If he still doesn’t hear the church, leave him alone, but be at peace with him that you have done your best.  If he is a believer, one of those steps would have resolved the issue.
    • If possible, let the person have his way
      • Abraham asked Lot to choose the land that he wants, and he will go the other way
      • Jesus said in [Mat 5:40]  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
    Testing that conflict is resolved
    • [Mat 18:19]  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
    • Can you hold the hand of that person and pray together without any ill feeling in your heart?
    • Can you truly pray for that person in the corner of your room?
    • Abraham interceded for Lot when the Lord told him that Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed.
    Reasons for resolving conflicts
    • That your prayers and offerings unto God are not hindered.
    • To prevent unforgiveness from creeping in
    • To prevent grudges
    • To prevent giving the devil any room for affliction