So, we have spent a couple weeks now looking at the reality of conflict, as well as the root cause of conflict. This week we are going to get into dealing with how to walk in the middle of conflict. What is difficult about walking out Biblical principles in the midst of conflict is that they must be honed as a believer when there is no conflict.
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Jesus here tells us one if the first principles of dealing with conflict. Get the log out of your own eye, before you help another person with theirs.
Now, the word picture is clear right? Can a person with a log in their eye see well enough to get a speck out of someone else’s eye? No! So, here is the first thing we should assume when we are in conflict: if we see a speck in someone’s eye, we should assume we have a log in our eye. Because the simple truth is this: we all have blind spots, and we will always see other peoples problems better than ours. So, knowing that, we need to be ferocious about going after the log in our eye before we take the speck out of someone else’s. Now, I don’t typically do a lot of work with alliteration, or acrostics, but today I want to give us all an acrostic to remember when we feel ourselves getting into a conflict.
Here it is L.O.G.
Listen more than you talk…
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Proverbs 13:3,” Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Proverbs 20:5, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” The way to listen to someone is to ask them questions. Because most of the time in interpersonal conflict, the offense is not over the action, but the assumed motive for the action. The only way to understand the true motive for the action is to ask the person why they did, or said what they did that hurt you.
Overcome your pride with humility… Most of the time when I get angry over something in a conflict, I can feel a self righteousness begin to well up in me.
James 4:6 says “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.””
Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.”
Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Give them the grace you would give yourself: Matthew 18:23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’
27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’
29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’
30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.
32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.
35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Instead of judging others critically, God commands us to judge charitably. The church has historically used the word “charitable” as a synonym for the word “loving.” This has resulted in the expression, “charitable judgments.” Making a charitable judgment means that out of love for God, you strive to believe the best about others until you have facts to prove otherwise. In other words, if you can reasonably interpret facts in two possible ways, God calls you to embrace the positive interpretation over the negative, or at least to postpone making any judgment at all until you can acquire conclusive facts. –