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

Posts tagged ‘conflict’

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. 

Biblical Marriages: Good, Bad and Ugly

Wedding Clip art

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Controversy Alert! Controversy Alert!

Although the oldest institution in the history of humanity is a hot issue, I would like to look at three marriages in the Bible: One good, one so-so and one that was just ugly. The good marriage is that between Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12-21. Judging from the give-and-take in their story, this couple served as an excellent model of a marriage partnership among equals, even in the ancient world. They listened to each other and took each other’s advice, even if the outcome of one suggestion led to conflict in the Middle East that has yet to be resolved.

The second example of a so-so marriage is between the first married couple, Adam and Eve. Not that they had any choice of whom they would marry, but there are some indications that their marriage was mediocre at best. The first sign of trouble was still in the Garden of Eden when God confronted them with their sin (Genesis 3:11-13). Here is the first recorded history of finger-pointing. Adam blamed Eve indirectly, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Sadly, the following chapter records the first murder involving two of their sons, Cain and Abel. These two unfortunate events indicate the first troubled home of many to come in this fallen world.

The last illustration shows a bad marriage in I Samuel 25, between Abigail and Nabal. Abigail is described as “intelligent and beautiful” while Nabal (“Fool”) is described as “surly and mean in his dealings.” I have to assume that Nabal was also abusive to Abigail. The guy was a jerk who messed with the wrong guy, David, who would be king. Abigail interceded on behalf of her husband and convinced David that killing her foolish husband would be a mistake. David backed down. When Nabal found out what had happened, he had a heart attack and died ten days later. Not all abusive marriages have such satisfying endings, but Abigail set a great example of wisdom and intelligence in dealing with not one, but two rash men.

The link in each instance is that these marriages had their difficulties, but the women acted with wisdom and understanding in making their marriages work, for better or for worse.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two 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 was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, 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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