It Works!

Why am I surprised?

November 3 2013Jesus gives us timeless instructions on how to deal with personal conflict in Matthew 18 –

Go to this person and talk with them privately – just the 2 of you. 

Two thousand years later, this first step still resolves a majority of the conflicts I experience.

Jesus actually says to ‘point out their faults’ and, in my life, I translate that to mean that I need to explain my perspective of the conflict using ‘I’ statements, avoiding ‘You’ statements and NEVER saying anything like ‘We all think’ or ‘Mary and Tom agree with me’. 

NEVER include anything about what other people have said about this situation.  Repeating what other people think about a conflict is like throwing a gallon of gas onto the fire.  It always creates defensiveness and starts an argument. 

So Jesus tells us to go privately to the person we are having a conflict with and explain our perspective.

If that doesn’t work, the next step is to get 2 or 3 people to go with us to talk with the person.  I have found it best if these people are either respected, neutral people or mature people who could be considered on ‘their side’.  Bringing a bunch of my friends along is not going to accomplish anything.  Going into these sessions with an open mind is as important as not needing to ‘win’ anything.  It’s actually better if the conflict is resolved with no one ‘winning’.  It puts the relationship back on even ground.

The 3rd step Jesus mentions is specifically in regard to church membership if this is a conflict within the church body. 

I have been in the business of managing processes and leading people for over 30 years and these are the best conflict resolution steps that I’ve ever found.

It shouldn’t surprise me that they came from Jesus over 2000 years ago.

Thank you, dear Jesus!