“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.” (Matthew 18:15)
Being isolated and quarantined for so long has created tensions, stress, anxieties, and violence of varying degrees. And, as we go back to a new way of living with one another these emotions spill out into the public where we work, drive and do commerce. What to do?
Our text from Matthew 18 has been a foundational principle for dealing with conflict. If you have a problem with someone, go and talk to them about it first before including other people. It seems pretty basic. But it is also a foundational principle in community. Making a public complaint or using gossip or backstabbing will bring about mistrust and break community. On the other hand, directly addressing issues in a spirit of godly wisdom and love is a positive way of dealing with conflict.
Conflicts will arise. Managing them directly and in a timely way is an important part of community. Is there anyone with whom you need to discuss a conflict? Dealing with that has the potential to make your community even stronger.
Father, help us deal with conflicts wisely, and bring us into stronger relationships as a result. Amen.