When we see so much conflict going unresolved in our world, we long for a way to reduce it. Jesus left His followers a way to resolve conflict, yet anybody can use it. We read this in Matthew 18: “If another believer [offends or] 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.” Admittedly, Jesus’ solution for resolving conflict is primarily given for believers in local churches. But it is easy to see that humility and dialogue can resolve conflicts in many settings; and whereas people of faith can appeal to the church, covenant community when individual efforts fail, even unbelievers can appeal to some larger authority for resolution. Retaliation and violence are not appropriate ways to resolve conflict.
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