Hurts happen. And following Jesus does not provide insurance against the pain, angst, and heartache of relational breakdowns, disappointments, and ugliness. What the Bible does provide is comfort when things fall apart, and a clear set of instructions on how to attempt restoration.
Here are the basics. When we experience a relational breakdown and are seeking conflict resolution and repair, we must:
- Resolve it worshipfully. Jesus ranked conflict resolution as high in significance as He did our corporate worship expressions.
- Resolve it quickly. Things sour and burn when they simmer too long.
- Resolve it personally. Jesus said GO to your brother or sister—He didn’t say post a comment on Facebook, or send a well-crafted text or email.
- Resolve it privately. One-on-one and face-to-face conversations are the starting points for biblical conflict resolutions.
- Resolve it truthfully. Truthful communication is clear communication that focuses on truth—what are the facts? What is the context? What is the heart motivation? Avoid suspicion, emotion, or unfair character assassinations.
- Resolve it lovingly. A true friend says, “I love you enough to not let this go. I love you enough to talk to you instead of becoming offended by you. And I love you enough to forgive you and attempt reconciliation.”
- Resolve it thoroughly. Satan, the “accuser of the brethren” operates his spiritual warfare through hurtful or confusing communication patterns—we must communicate in ways that shut his operation down.
Scripture references: Matthew 5:23-25; 18:15-16; Ephesians 4:15; Revelation 12:10