In Phil 2:2, Paul exhorts his readers to “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” In chapter four, Paul applies this same principle to a conflict between two women and asks the congregation in Philippi to help them “agree in the Lord.” There are a number of key passages in Scripture that describe how the church should deal with disagreement and conflict.
In Matt 18:15–17, Jesus lays out a conflict resolution process. The process is supposed to start small, between the two individuals involved in the conflict. It climaxes when the whole church body becomes involved in resolving the conflict. This only happens when one or more of the parties refuses to repent of their sin.
Paul, in Eph 4:1–7, exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling “bearing with one another in love,” by striving to maintain unity in the body. He also explains how every member has been gifted for the building up of the body.
Finally, Jas 4:1–3 paints a sobering description picture of the root of conflict within the church—our sinful desires and worldliness.
This week take some time to read and meditate on these passages, and next week we’ll cover some important principles we can glean from Scripture.
Derrick Haskins, Elder