Conflict can flare up at home, at work, or even at church. It is a major problem in our society. Most of it stems from our inability to communicate in our relationships. Experts say to reduce conflict in dialog; try to clarify the expected outcomes; deal with issues quickly; seek to understand the other person’s motive; find merits in the other person’s position; and when conflict arises, use it to grow. In Luke 17, we see where Jesus addressed the issue of conflict. He said we should expect conflict to arise but that we should make sure we do not cause people to sin. We must not tempt others to sin by treating them unjustly. He urges us to resolve conflict quickly by lovingly rebuking those who offend and forgiving them. If we don’t resolve conflicts quickly, attitudes harden, and bitterness can develop. If we are not careful, hatred and even violence can be the sad outcome. Jesus said, “Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” In other words, our forgiveness should be limitless. Since conflict and violence is so rampant in our world today, we should make every effort to reduce it, and God’s people must show the way.
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