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Summary: This is the fifth giant that we look at in the series of "Facing the Giants in Our Lives"

“Facing the Giant of Conflict”

Text: Matthew 18:15-17

15 ¶ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Introduction:

Conflict. Why does it happen? What causes it? How do we handle it? Will there ever be a time without conflict? Is conflict good or bad for us? A lot of question can be ask about conflict, and sometimes we may find an answer and sometimes not. We can look through the Bible and find some type of conflict take place in every book of the Bible. Conflict has come about because the first two people that ever lived listened to Satan. Everybody faces some kind of conflict in their live. It could be physically, spiritually, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and this is a big one financially.

Every church split, every marriage and family brake up and every friendship that is destroyed is caused by some kind of conflict. The reason why it happens is because of some type of misunderstanding and the carnal self gets in the way. When conflict takes place where carnal self is involved someone always gets wounded.

Illustration of good conflict vs. bad.

My mother’s anarism (good)

“Satan may met it for evil but God met it for good”

Church problem (bad)

Conflict is a normal part of life, but when conflict between believers involve sinful behavior, they must be handled very carefully. In our text Jesus outlines a process toward resolving these conflicts. Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

This morning I want us to look at how to begin reconciliation when conflict has taken place, how to apologize, how to forgive, and how to enlist a mediator.

I.How to Begin Reconciliation.

Reconciliation can only occur when both parties are willing to listen without interrupting. They both need to be respectful and understand that there are two sides to every story, two sets of feeling that need to be understood, and two hearts that need to be healed. I would like to give you a list of do’s and don’ts that I came across that will help in the reconciliation process.

Do’s

1. See the situation from the other’s point of view.

2. Repeat back: “I hear you saying _______________. Is that

correct?”

3. Use words that encourage.

4. Be respectful, even if you are not treated respectfully.

5. Realize that you have the power to change only yourself.

6. Be at peace, knowing that you have the Prince of Peace in your heart.

Don’ts

1. Don’t forget that your opposer is also God’s creation.

2. Don’t harbor resentment, bitterness, or hatred.

3. Don’t use “you” statements: “You make me mad...you should...you always....”

4. Don’t get drawn into useless arguments.

5. Don’t expect an immediate change.

6. Don’t assume that reconciliation is always possible.

II.How to Apologize.

Physical healing cannot take place unless the patient chooses to do what is healthy. In a similar way two wounded hearts will not heal if both parties defiantly refuse to ask forgiveness. There are right and wrong ways of ways forgiveness. Let’s look at the difference :

1. Don’t make excuses: “I couldn’t help it.”

2. Don’t use the blame game: “You made me do it.”

3. Accept full responsibility: “My attitude was inexcusable.”

4. Accept full blame for your part: “No one can make another person sin. I acknowledge that I sinned against you.”

5. With a humble heart say, “I’ve tried to see our relationship from your point of view. I realize that I’ve been wrong in my attitude of __________. Would you forgive me?”

III.How to Forgive.

There are some patients that have wound that will not heal because they just won’t leave the wound alone. Just like a wound needs to be allowed to heal, a person needs to allow forgiveness to do its work. Here are some practical steps in the process of healing.

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