In a perfect world, we would never have conflict with our business associates. Unfortunately, we live inan imperfect, fallen world where selfishness and sin color all relationships. We operate our businesses within a world system that often plays by a very different set of rules than we are called to as Christians. We operate in a world whose system venerates the “management techniques of Attila the Hun,” and teaches “winning through intimidation.” The world values winning… our Leader values serving. No wonder there are clashes and conflicts!
No matter how we might wish to avoid it, conflict inevitably occurs in our relationships. Conflict, disagreement, misunderstanding, misinterpretation of motives and actions, and response to the wrong and even evil actions of others, are all a part of the relational lives we live as Christians in the marketplace. We can’t escape them. They occur within our businesses and in the marketplace at large. They are an integral part of life.
Perhaps we can minimize our exposure to conflict by living as uprightly and lovingly as possible, but even then, conflict will find us. The enemy is firmly opposed to any business attempting to do things God’s way. This last statement is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that no matter how sincerely we try, conflict will come. The good news is that it is in conflict that our Christianity is best shown and demonstrated. Addressing difficult issues in “truth and love” provides an unmistakable witness which is hard to ignore.
While the familiar Matthew 18:15-17 passage provides clear instruction for the handling conflict between believers, C12 Peer Advisory Groups take an even broader look at Biblical counsel, which might be applied in a broad range of circumstances. Biblical conflict resolution is one of C12's foundational precepts and God’s Word is chock full of teaching on conflict resolution. Here are some verses to study on the subject:
Matthew 5:9 Matthew 5:24 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 1 Corinthians 10:31 Galatians 6:1 Philippians 2:4-5
Our flesh rises up most noticeably when we are “defending ourselves” in times of stress or crisis. In such times it is all the more imperative that we be accountable for checking our personal desires and pursuing reconciliation which is both obedient and honoring to God and most likely to turn our adversary toward Christ! Remain faithful with “your light shining before men.”