Synopsis of Bible Study 04/27/16
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Many of us have to deal with or find ourselves in situations where we know there is going to be drama or a potential for bad blood. As a Christian, the problem is, often you don’t know how to handle it.
Conflict can happen in your home, on your job, and yes, even at church. When conflict comes, the question becomes, how then can you say you love Christ whom you haven’t seen and hate your brother whom you see every day?
Romans 12:17 (NKJV) says 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. – Do not repay evil for evil. John 16:33a (NKJV) 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”- Know that you will have conflicts and strained relationships in this life.
Jesus makes peace available to us. Matthew 5:9 (NKJV) says 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.- We don’t want to minimize the fact that you may have been offended, because we know some offenses can be very real. What offended you may be very painful to you. However, in reconciling your offenses, you have to make commitment to:
- Let go of past pain. How do we do this?
- By dealing with the conflict within – Romans 7:15 (NKJV) says 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. – The stuff I try not to do, I keep doing. In others words, Paul acknowledges that he should reconcile the conflict within himself.
- Romans 7:24-25 (NKJV) says 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.- Your flesh wants to retaliate against all that is good. Your flesh wants to be right! Physiologically, God made in such a way that your body wants to correct itself. Your body goes in to save mode or self-preservation mode every time it things something is trying to harm it. For example, when you diet, you might eat like an animal when you eat again, because your body think it is starving. It is the same in the spirit of your flesh: when your flesh experiences conflict or trauma, your flesh wants to fix it, so when conflict arises, it thinks it should make the other person feel the way they made you feel.
- We are surround by things that teach us that we should get even during conflict. Every show we watch has some kind of scenario in it where one person is trying to pay another person back for something that they have done. A good modern example of this today would be the show called, “Empire”.
In order to get past conflict, we have to:
- Assess the problem – We need to ask ourselves, is the conflict involving this person really result of residue from past hate, hurt, or problems? We all have triggers. Sometimes, a person will trigger a trigger in you and may not even know it. When they did, they suddenly set off a Pandora Box of Hell inside of you. As a result of them setting you off, now they are paying for what you’ve been suppressing all those years. It is really unreconciled stuff from the past that has you going off and not the particular conflict you are presently facing.
- Name 3 things that have hurt you in the past or put you in conflict that is still tender to the touch even to this day.
- Romans 6:6-11 (MSG) says 6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. – That langue you can’t speak anymore is a death language. You nailed it to the cross. If you think about it, you have overcome some stuff that you don’t even realize. Some things people do to you now, would have been a problem a couple of years back.
- Conflicts are unreconciled stuff from our past. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.- Let go of those things from your past.
- Seek to solve a problem and not to prove a point- Philippians 2:4 (NKJV) 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. – You got to seek to get to the root of problem and do not use the conflict as an opportunity to prove each other wrong.
- Patiently listen; do not rush the process – You got to stop over talking people. If you are not careful, you will make assumptions about a person based a particular act (or conflict). We have to learn to listen. When you sit down and talk to people, you might discover something about them that you didn’t know. You might find out that the reason they acted a certain way was because of stuff that happened to them, before you got there. You might infant find out that they are remorseful for how they had acted.
- James 1:19-20 (NKJV) says 19 So then,[a] my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – We should be slow to anger.
- Proverbs 12:18 (NKJV)says 18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes– How many people do you know that have a piercing tongue? By this we mean, whatever they say to somebody, cuts you to your core. Sometimes the things we say cause conflict.
- Stop reacting and start responding. Whenever something happens, we need to pause, go into our spiritual chamber, pull out some word, remind ourselves that we are not what we used to be, realize that we can no longer act that way, and then respond appropriately. Otherwise, our reaction may cause more damage than good to our relationships.
- Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) says 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. – If we allow our mouth to release bad stuff, because of a bad situation, then we open ourselves up for bad stuff to come back to us.
- Learn to pursue peace. There are good people in jail right now, just because they reacted, instead of responding. If you want to resolve conflict, you got to remove grudges from your life. Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV) says 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. – Getting over grudges is often the hardest part.
- Find methods of mediation. Matthew 5:38-40 (NKJV) 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. –When Jesus gave this example, he was not literally saying that you must allow people to slap you twice. Jesus was using cultural examples to teach them to go the extra mile, before doing anything you might regret later.
- Sometimes you may even have to involve a third party to help you resolve a conflict.
Studies show that people handle conflicts in the following ways:
- They give in and accept the changes someone else wants.
- They do nothing hoping the problem will go away.
- They avoid the person or the situation.
- They pretend the problem doesn’t bother them when it really does.
- They go to a higher authority.
- They go to court or arbitration.
- They fight and argue.
- They talk things out with another person (either in private or with a mediator)
The main goal is to move from conflict to resolution. Here are 12 strategies to help you get to a resolution.
- When angry, separate yourself from the situation and take the time to cool down. Women: When you are hurt, you want to talk about it right now! When men get hurt, they just want to escape the situation.
- Attack the problem not the person. Start with a compliment.
- Communicate your feeling assertively not aggressively! Express without blaming.
- Focus on the issue, not your position about the issue.
- Accept and respect that individual opinions may differ. Don’t demand compliance and be willing to agree to disagree.
- Don’t view the situation as a competition where one has to win and other has lose. Work towards a solution.
- Focus on areas of common interests and be willing to agree on them.
- Never jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what the other is feeling. Lots of times, we think people have an attitude not realizing that they may have had a mountain of stuff that happened to them during the day, before they reached you. All bad moods or attitudes are not because of you or the current conflict.
- Forget the past and stay in the present.
- Build power with, not power over others.
- Thank the person for listening.
How do we move to a place of peace?
- Deal with the problem directly, the moment it happens. Don’t allow the devil to have an opportunity to create something out of nothing.
- Proverbs 18:19 (NKJV) says 19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. ,
- Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) says 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[a] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, – The whole point is you have to come to a point where you learn not to walk around angry.
- Colossians 3:13 (NKJV) says, 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. –
All of us have been offended. The first thing that Jesus did on the cross was say the word, “Forgive them…” We must make certain that we understand that the God in you is greater than the evil in them. Sometimes you have to say I’m sorry even when you haven’t done anything wrong. You can never hate me more than I can love you. If we receive forgiveness from the Lord for all that we have done, then we must be willing to extend the same forgiveness to others. This isn’t a message to say you got to go and kick it with the person that offended you, but know that prior conflicts makes the awkward moments. Today is the day to say, “Lord I let that stuff go so that I can be free”. Love is greater than anything on the planet. You will never change what you will not confront. You got to deal with conflict directly and immediately. We don’t have to like you, but we sure do have to love you.