Responding to Conflict

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Sun, Apr 02, 2017

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Healthy Conflict Scripture: Psalm 27:17 & Matthew 18:1-14

April 2, 2017

Healthy Conflict

Healthy Conflict

Responding to Conflict

- an incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests
- a serious disagreement or argument

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

It’s not a cute little process, it’s intense, it’s stressful and if you’re the sword or dagger, it hurts.  Just like with the sharpening on the dagger, it’s painstakingly dragging across your edge shaving little parts of your flesh off to make you sharp and to make you a powerful weapon in the hands of God.

So, when it is done correctly, conflict can not only be healthy it can be beneficial and life-changing.


1. Having the Right Heart in Conflict

Matthew 18:1-5
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Instead of bringing out a great warrior and saying, "be like this," He brings out a kid and says, "be like this."  God’s Kingdom is a Kingdom of love, humility, and innocence.


2. Not Causing Unnecessary Conflict

Matthew 18:6-7
Causing to Stumble
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

The New American Commentary says it this way:
One who might otherwise cause such a little one to sin ought to long for dramatic, decisive, physical death rather than risk eternal judgment.

Matthew 18:8-9
8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Are you willing to be wrong?

Generally, the largest conflicts don’t come from large issues, they come from a lot of small issues that keep piling up and up because they are never talked about or they are never dealt with in your own heart.

The only way to “win” in a healthy conflict, is when both of you come way loving each other more despite your differences.


3. What is the Point of Conflict?

Matthew 18:10-14
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

We have 2 choices when it comes to conflict:
- Are we going to engage in a fight so that we can prove that we are right and that the other person is wrong
- Or, are we going to be willing to be wrong, clearly hear the other person out, and be okay with grinding our edge a little to be sharpened?


Communication Card
1. I will strive to go into conflict with love, humility, and innocence.
2. I’m going to stop trying to prove that I’m right all the time.
3. I will look at conflict in my life as a place where I can choose to grow.


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