In obedience to God’s Holy Word and commitment to practicing Biblical Resolution Management, I promise to follow the Principle of Priorities. That is, my priorities are to glorify God, build harmony in the church, and avoid conflict. I will do as Matthew 18 admonishes – go to an offending brother “first alone”.
FIRST STEP –
I will not first share the offense with another person. I am committed to restoring the relationship, rather than exposing possible sin. I recognize most problems with people are personality clashes, and I will try to understand their actions based upon their perspective.
SECOND STEP –
If going to a person “first alone” does not resolve our differences, I promise to seek a neutral and mature individual who will listen to each of our perspectives of the problem. This person will hopefully be able to shed light on one or both of our blind spots or areas of needed growth in order to glorify God.
I recognize that the “witness” may reveal or say things I won’t like, but I will believe God is using him or her to resolve the conflict, rather than take sides. (The “witness” must be an individual with deep spiritual wisdom and highly respected by all those involved.)
I will not seek to find others who have also been offended, nor share my concerns with potential “witnesses” prior to the meeting with my “offending brother”. The purpose of having a “witness” is not to validate my hurt but rather to open my heart and mind to the possible needs I may have regarding my relationship with others.
I realize my friends may naturally listen to my concerns, but also take up my offense. I will, therefore, not cause them to become a party to a possible division and disharmony because of our friendship. Whenever I feel an urge to share the offense with my friends, I will pray and commune with God about my hurt.
CONFRONTING MINISTRY LEADERS –
I believe in the scriptural admonition to not rebuke an Elder (spiritual leader), other than in grave matters of misconduct and open sin (1 Timothy 5:19). I will earnestly pray for and follow those God has placed in leadership over me. I will not allow anyone to criticize them without following the principles in Matthew 18 and without the specific person present.
If I have a problem with my ministry leader, I will go “first alone” to them. I will not share my concern with anyone. I will listen and try to understand their perspective of the problem. If I am not satisfied with their explanation and continue to have animosity, I will ask their permission and counsel to find a “witness” who will listen to our conflict.
If the “witness” finds I have misunderstood the situation and should continue no further, I will trust God to complete His work in my life by casting my burden on the Lord and leaving it there. If the “witness” agrees with my concern and finds the ministry leader wrong and the leader refuses to hear the “witness”, we will then find a group of two or three other “witnesses” who will hear the matter and determine what God is doing through this conflict.
SERIOUS STEP –
If I continue to find fault with a ministry leader and cannot worship in “spirit and truth”, I will seek to join another ministry rather than cause any conflict and disharmony. I am committed to pleasing God through resolving my conflicts, even if it means separating myself from the source of my irritations.
ULTIMATE GOAL –
I commit myself to be spiritual rather than “normal” and supernatural rather than “natural” when it comes to solving my problems with others. I want God’s will and way to resolve my conflicts and will do as the Holy Bible teaches, regardless of my normal and natural feelings.
My ultimate goal is to glorify God through bearing much fruit, getting involved in ministry, and avoiding and resolving conflicts.
From Uniquely You Spiritual Gift Inventory. Permission granted from the author to reprint. www.UniquelyYou.com (“COVENANT” in first paragraph was replaced with “COMMITMENT”)
For additional resources on peace making see http://www.NewPeace.net and http://www.HisPeace.org
For further study on this theme, see Grace Notes, “Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts”