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Summary: How To Resolve Conflicts Through Effective Counseling

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How To Resolve Conflicts Through Effective Counseling

Eph. 4:28-32 - "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven us." Begin by integrating some of following five suggestion:

1). Break the problem into smaller issues. The manager’s contracts with the workers. The owner’s lack of supervision with his manager. The workers inability to clarify the terms of their labor before they began to work.

2). Begin by asking each party what they think about the situation and how they plan to resolve the conflict as Jesus would or as the scriptures would advise.

3). State what you believe the godly man would do in each situation; first from the owner’s perspective and responsibilities toward the manager; second from the manager’s perspective towards the owner and the workers; finally from the worker’s perspectives and their responsibilities toward the manager and the owner.

4). Suggest several resolution steps where everyone can save face as much as possible. Offer compromising alternatives for each party to receive some measure of dignity and provisions.

5). Encourage everyone to look at the matter objectively without criticizing, becoming bitter, or trying to seek revenge. Help each party to understand the similar experiences that Christ faced in His father’s vineyards while he was on earth.

A BIBLICAL CASE STUDIES IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION

1. In Luke 12:13?15 says, Jesus was approached by a man whose simple request was, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." Jesus turned to the individual and said, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you? Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Notice that Jesus refused to enter into the conflict unnecessarily. We should also learn to avoid conflicts that are not our business. Jesus saw the importance in not getting entangled in civilian affairs so that He could concentrate on His priorities. When necessary Jesus would resolve conflicts by recognizing human, political, and legal norms and laws. He might refer us to his statement about the coin, "Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s." (Lk.20:25)

Luke writes in Acts 15:39, "They had such a sharp disagreement (Paul and Barnabas) that they parted company." Later Paul wrote Timothy asking for John Mark to be sent to him for he was useful to him in II Timothy. No doubt Paul was convicted by his own words to the Philippians when he wrote in Phil. 2:2 ? "Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, united in spirit intent on one purpose, striving together for the faith of the gospel." Paul later realized the usefulness of John Mark perhaps through his own maturing and healing and forgiveness.

Example ? Even though you may not be able to reconcile yourself with another immediately, prayer, time, and appreciation for other’s cultural perspective will heal most conflicts. One man named Isaac fought with his neighbor for years over a goat that apparently had gotten killed by a passing truck. Barnabas was looking after the animal in the Isaac’s absence. After several years of anger and bitterness toward one another, Barnabas, the younger man, heard a sermon about conflict resolution and decided to try to reconcile matters. He went to the man’s house and expressed his regret over the unfortunate incident. He asked Isaac, "Is there anything I could do to make the matter right between us? Isaac said, "Yes you can buy me another goat." The man said, "Even though I do not have enough money to buy a goat I will work in your farm this rainy season for free. I want to do what I can to allow us to be friends again. Your friendship means a great deal to me! In fact you are far more important to me than any goat." When the Isaac saw the Barnabas working for the first three days in his fields, he came out weeping expressing his regret that he had gotten angry. Today they are best of friends!!


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