Here are some ways various groups approach conflict resolution: 1) Some just avoid confronting it: as a result, nothing is resolved. 2) They may compete—one side wins; everybody else loses. 3) They may accommodate—one party gives in but issues remain unresolved. 4) They may collaborate, that is, they create together a solution all can support. Or 5) They compromise—everyone gives up a little of what they want. The outcome is viewed as fair even though no one gets all they want. Here is how Jesus told His followers to resolve conflict, found in Matthew Chapter 18: “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.” Our Lord knew His followers would sometimes have disagreements. That is why He left us a way to resolve conflicts.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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