CMA HeartBeat April 2022 - Page 6


06⎪APRIL 2022⎪shop . cmausa . org

CONFLICT around a long time . It started in the Garden of Eden and carries right on through the entire Bible . In the Old Testament , conflict was often resolved through military action , murder , or the hand of God . But in the New Testament , Jesus offered us another plan .

“ 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 ” ( Matthew 18:15-17 , NLT ).
Jesus taught that we should go to the other individual personally and then take another believer with us . Next , we have the church address the issue . Finally , if necessary , we should exercise appropriate discipline . When discipline is needed , it should be loving , limited , and goal-oriented .
When dealing with conflict situations , there are three terms that frequently come up . Resolution , which is arriving at a solution ( good or bad ). This focuses on the problem . Restoration , or taking things back to how they were , which
focuses on the past . And reconciliation , which restores right relationships . This focuses on the person .
The Apostle Paul dealt with more than his share of issues and conflicts . He did not avoid them but dealt with them directly . Paul ' s focus was always on the person and not on the sin or the situation . He dealt with the offending person in a loving manner , with the goal of bringing them back into a relationship with the other believers . This is conflict resolution with reconciliation .
The key to reconciliation is first to have repentance . When repentance is offered , we are to welcome the person back . Paul said , “ Now , however , it is time to forgive and comfort him . Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement . So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him ” ( 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 , NLT ).
Forgiveness goes beyond ignoring the sin , remaining silent , or not taking revenge . We express real forgiveness by demonstrating love for the sinner . God has forgiven the unforgivable in you , so make every effort to forgive your brother or sister for what they may have done . Forgiveness is one-sided , while reconciliation requires effort on both sides . Are your chapter members willing to accept back someone who has wronged them yet repented ? We need to remember just how much God has forgiven each of us .
Chapters are made up of people , which means there will be conflict , hurt , disappointment , and frustration . Guaranteed . We are to deal
with it because God has called us to a ministry of reconciliation . When there is conflict in your chapters , remember that the goal is not just resolution or restoration but genuinely seeking reconciliation of all involved . CMA