Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

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Conflict Resolution 101

LadyBoxers

Mrs. Edwards and Fri. Kussin from The Library of Congress on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Who likes to argue? Who enjoys conflicts and being offended? I have met a few people in my lifetime who seem to derive perverse pleasure from getting under other people’s skin, but the vast majority of rational humans would rather avoid conflicts. Did you know that in Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus lays out His solution for resolving conflicts? This is what His prescription is:

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (NKJV)

There are three steps to Jesus’ plan for conflict resolution:

1. Go talk to the person directly. This is one of the hardest things to do, because it requires direct confrontation, but most often, the other person will be reasonable and the issue will be resolved. Notice, Jesus did not say to post it on Face Book, tell all your girlfriends about it, Tweet to the world or anything else besides first going alone to the person who offended you.

2. If that person refuses to take any responsibility for the offense, then you need to get another person or two as witnesses to establish the issue and both sides of the story. This should not look like an ambush or attack, but rather a calm meeting in which the issue at hand is discussed and documented.

3. If the offender still refuses to apologize or accept responsibility, then you need to take it to your church leadership; provided that other person is a Christian or at least accepts the authority of the church. If she still won’t back down, Jesus says to treat her as an unbeliever.

This is where it gets interesting because traditionally, unbelievers, tax collectors and heathens were banned from the church, treated as second class citizens and shunned by church people. Step back and think about this. With whom did Jesus hang out with much of the time while He walked the earth? Heathens and tax collectors. What He was trying to tell us from His example was that we need to show love and compassion for those who offend us as lost sheep who need to come to repentance.

I know this is a hard thing to do, but if we resolve issues Jesus’ way, we may find that we have way more friends and a better understanding of one another!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon. 

About the Children

Happy Kids

Illustration courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS on Freedigitalphotos.net

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

So much is said and done for the children, whether it is truly for the sake of the children or not. What did Jesus have to say about children? He had a lot to say about them in Matthew 18:1-10. The first thing He said was that we all need to be humble like children when we are converted to faith in God, and those who have the humility of children are considered greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (verses 2-4)

Jesus then went on to warn adults against misleading or offending children in verses 5-6:

“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives me. But whoever causes one these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (NKJV)

Looking at the first verse, it is clear that Jesus wants us to be involved in the lives of children as much as our involvement in His kingdom. Children are the future of the church and the world. If we refuse to take an active role in the lives of children and teach them how important they are to Jesus, somebody else with less honorable intentions will cause them to stumble.

Not only are we to be as unassuming as children and value children as Jesus did, we are instructed in verse 10 “do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

The very lives of children of all ages (the Greek word for “little one” is fetus) are sacred to God. This means that we need to speak up for the right to life for children; we need to protect the sanctity of the lives of all children. We need to come along side the injured women who have had abortions and show them the love and forgiveness that surrendering to Jesus brings while encouraging them to speak out about their experiences.

Children are extremely important to Jesus and His kingdom; we who are serious about serving God. We need to do everything within our power to help children and their families from the womb until adulthood.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon. 

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