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Love One Another - How to Resolve Conflict in Relationships, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2024 6:00 am

Love One Another - How to Resolve Conflict in Relationships, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 30, 2024 6:00 am

Do you ever wonder why good, Godly relationships have conflict? If I love God and you love God and we love each other, then shouldn’t we have a relationship free of conflict? Unfortunately, the answer is, no. Chip shares some ways of living in harmony with those around you and how to handle conflict effectively when it arises.

Main Points

How important is living in harmony?

  • Jesus prayed for it.
  • Scripture commands it.
  • The Church practiced it.
  • The world was transformed by it.

What causes disharmony or conflict?

  • Growth/Unmet Needs
  • Theological Differences
  • Philosophical Differences
  • Personality Differences
  • Carnality

How can we restore harmony in relationships?

  1. Refuse to tolerate disunity.
  2. Embrace conflict as normal and unavoidable.
  3. Be the initiator in conflict resolution.
  4. Deal with you before you deal with them.
  5. Meet together ASAP and outline the issue!
  6. If resolution does not occur, follow the Biblical guidelines of Matthew 18
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Did you ever wonder why good, godly relationships have conflict? I mean, if I love God and you love God and we love each other, shouldn't we have a relationship free of conflict?

Well, unfortunately the answer is no. But today you'll learn some ways to live in harmony with those around you and how to handle conflict when it arises. Stay with us. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And you know, conflict is an inevitable part of life. So how should we respond?

And is there a way to even prepare for it? Well, today Chip will tell us how to get a biblical perspective toward relationships as he picks up in our series Love One Another. Well, there's a lot to get to, so go in your Bible to Romans chapter 12 as we settle in for Chip's message. Jesus says for those of us that are in the body of Christ, live in harmony with one another. Literally the phrase there in Romans 12 16 is be like-minded or think the same thoughts. Be on the same wavelength. Be in agreement as believers. I did a little research and you know, it's amazing. We use words all the time.

Webster's adapted it a little because he had about a half a page on this. Harmony is a state of agreement. The combining of differences in such a way that the unified blending of various parts produces a thing of beauty and impact.

When people sing acapella, it just really gets me. It's really powerful because it's all the different parts combined and blended in such a way where there's great beauty and impact. And here's what we're going to learn. God's desire for the body of Christ, God's desire for the church, God's desire for you and for me is that we take our differences, our personalities, our backgrounds, where we've been, our little different theologies and we blend them together to make something that's beautiful and has impact. Now you might say to yourself, oh yeah, kind of unity, harmony. I know that's important. Wait a second. You have no idea how important is harmony.

Let me show you. First of all, the very last night Jesus was on the earth. Know what He prayed about? He didn't pray about strategic planning. He didn't pray about provision for the disciples. The last time ever recorded when Jesus was alive, He's alone with the Father. He's at the Mount of Olives.

The other three guys are asleep. This is what He prayed. My prayer is not for them, verse 20 of John 17. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that's us, that all of them may be one Father, just as you are in Me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent Me. Do you see what's at stake? Verse 22, I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one as we are one.

Is that amazing? I in them and you in Me, may they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me. How important is harmony? It's the strongest prayer in the Bible. According to Jesus, it was the last most important thing He asked the Father for, why He was here.

But that's not all of it. Not only Jesus prayed for it, but Scripture commands it. I mean, the New Testament is rippled with command after command after command about our relationships in unity and harmony with one another. Romans 12, 16, live in harmony with one another to command. And then it adds, do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. By the way, the problem with harmony is in that verse too.

It's usually our pride. Romans 14, 19, let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 15, 5 and 6, may the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.

Why? So that with one heart and mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4, 3, make every effort.

How's that sound? Make every effort, do whatever it takes to do what? Keep the unity of the spirit to the bond of peace. Philippians 1, 27, whatever happens, the apostle Paul writes, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Then whether I come to see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know. Here's a guy that's on death row. And what's he asking? What's he pleading? What's he commanding? That I may know that you stand firm in one spirit contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.

In chapter 2, he writes, you know, if, and it's in the clause in the original language, it means really sense because he raises them up and says, I mean, these are so obvious. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, obviously the answer is we've got tons of it. If any in comfort from his love, if you ever get any comfort from God, oh, you get tons of it. If any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then in other words, if God has ever done anything for you at any time, deeply in your heart or in your life, then make my joy complete by being here's our word again, like minded, having the same love being in one spirit and purpose. You getting the idea? I mean, this is strong.

This is really strong and there's a lot at stake. How important is living in harmony? Number one, Jesus prayed for it. Number two, the scripture commands it everywhere. Number three, the early church practiced it. They heard these words and the early church thought that what Jesus prayed and what they were told was not some sort of idealistic, well, no one can really get along at that level.

And God doesn't really expect it to happen. You know what the early church thought? The early church thought God said it.

We need to obey this. The early disciples, his early followers said there is nothing more important on the heart of Christ than us getting along with one another from the heart, authentically, sincerely, and genuinely. Notice what happens. The early church in Acts 2 46 says they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and they ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Very interesting word.

Means it was legit. They weren't going through the motions. They weren't just being polite to one another. They met, they shared, they shared life. In fact, as the flavor continues throughout the early church, it's growing, expanding.

It's grown to eight or 10,000 members by chapter four, at least. And in verse 32 of chapter four, it says, all the believers, thousands of people now were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had with great power. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was upon them all. Listen to this verse 34.

There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time, those who own lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as they might have need. That's taking it pretty radically, isn't it? That group said caring for one another, living in harmony, one mindedness in agreement really matters. And when they practice that, the world was transformed. Notice verse 47. After describing the unity of the early church, it says, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And then the Lord added to their number daily. Those who are being saved, you see this pattern all through acts, all through acts, all through acts, all through acts, even when there's conflict and they resolve the conflict. And then there's unity again, there's this little phrase and the Lord adds to their number daily.

I want to tell you something. This isn't one of those let's live in harmony. Let's join hands around the table and sing Kumbaya. This is a passage that says at the deepest level, when your background and your background are totally opposed, when someone injures you, when someone wounds you, when someone treats you terribly, Jesus said unity in the body of Christ is a non-negotiable. You do whatever it takes as far as it depends on you to make it right.

Why? Jesus prayed for it. Secondly, scripture commands it. Third, the early church took it literally, radically and practiced it. And as we see their practice answered Jesus' prayer, didn't it? In order that the world may know that God sent the Son. See, more than all the great reasoning, more than all the great books, more than all the great philosophy, the greatest apologetic on the face of the earth is believers loving one another in unity, authentically, in harmony, despite ethnic differences, socioeconomic differences, background differences, personality differences.

I mean, anybody can get along with people who are like them and agree on everything. There's no testimony there. The power is when the world sees you and sees me inter relating at an authentic level that the only answer is God is doing something in those people. Now, I've read a number of passages. I tried to bring them hard and fast. And I hope you're feeling a little bit emotionally like, like the wind is kind of like we had, we're driving with the top down because we were, I wanted you to feel the force of scripture, the force of just, whoa, man, this is, this isn't like here and there.

No cute stories in that introduction. It's just, this matters to God. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and he'll be back to continue today's message. But let me quickly tell you, we are more than a broadcast ministry. We're passionate about supporting pastors globally, developing helpful resources, and sharing the gospel with this next generation. So if you'd like to partner with us in these areas, go to livingonthedge.org.

We'll hear again as Chip. Now, what do we want to do? I mean, I've got all the same struggles you do. The problem isn't understanding how important it is. What's the problem?

It's practicing it. So let's do a little research together and let's find out what causes disharmony in the body of Christ. Now, obviously, there's lots of reasons, but what I thought I would do is I'd pick out about five reasons right out of scripture. I mean, the early church was not like, you know, these people, you know, tiptoeing through the tulips and, oh, Peter, John, good to see you. Oh, it's wonderful. How's the wife, kids?

Oh, bless you, brother. You know, I mean, imagine trying to get along with a guy like Peter. I mean, they had personality conflicts, they had struggles, they had theological conflicts. Let me walk you through and give you a brief overview of what causes disharmony or conflict.

First one is growth or change that leads to unmet needs. Whenever things change, even good change, it alters the equilibrium in relationships and it forces us to adjust to maintain that. And it forces us to adjust to maintain harmony. Acts chapter six, verses one to seven is our first example. And the early church is blowing and going, man, it's a happening place.

It gets so big, so big, so big. The early apostles took servanthood so literally that they were waiting on tables and they got to be so many hundreds of the widows and needy people that all of a sudden, a division broke out in the church. There were some widows who were from a Jewish background, other widows from a Hellenistic background. Well, most of the early church was Jews. The Hellenistic widows were getting a little overlooked. And so people were saying, hey, what's the deal? We're supposed to love one another. What about all this thing Jesus said?

And you know, our widows are not getting fed like your widows. And the early apostles realized, why, why did this occur? Because anyone was bad. No, it occurred because the growth was so rapid that it create created an equilibrium disorientation. So the apostles couldn't handle it under the present paradigm structure. And so you have the first paradigm shift in the New Testament and they assign seven new people, get agreement from the people and they take over the job of distribution of food. So the apostles can be committed to the prayer and the word.

And then in verse seven, it says, and the Lord added to their number. See, all I'm saying when you grow personally, it brings about change. That'll cause conflict.

That's why moving, having a baby, starting a new job, getting a promotion, all those things, they're positive, aren't they? Their growth, they will create unmet needs in structures and relationships with people. It'll cause conflict.

It's not bad, but you need to know it's going to come. The second reason for conflict is theological differences. Honest differences about what is true cause disharmony and demand thoughtful research and dialogue. Acts chapter 15, verses one to 15, we have the first kind of theological rhubarb in the church. You have people from a Jewish background. You have the apostle Paul who's come to Christ. He's ministering to the Gentiles and he goes on the first missionary journey and he comes back and all these people are coming to Christ and God's doing miracles and things are really shaken and bacon. But there's some people from a Jewish background and they're, they're called the Judaizers, Christians. And they're saying, you know what?

We don't like the way this is going. You have to become a Jew first in order to get to heaven. Now we all believe in Christ, but they have to keep the law.

You have to be circumcised. You have to keep all the temple rights. And the apostle Paul comes home and says, Hey guys, get a life. That's not what God told me. And he says, beyond that, anybody who's ever kept the law before Christ come raise your hand. We couldn't do it.

Why should we make them try and do it? He said, it's grace, baby. You can get straight to God through Christ. You don't have to become a Jew.

Well, man, they went at it. In Acts 15, then you have the Jerusalem council and there's research and there's dialogue and Peter speaks and they reasoned from experience and from the old Testament scriptures and they come together. And then there's unity. There's going to be theological differences historically in the church modes of baptism. What does the Lord's supper really mean? Charismatic versus non charismatic. You have things like eternal security, godly people differ on those things.

Sometimes we need to understand what are the majors? What does the scripture say? And then on some of those things that aren't as important, come to a position that we understand the scripture says and treat people with tolerance and dignity in the body of Christ.

Agree to disagree. Now we don't violate scripture or doctrine, but you know, they work that through and on the testimony of what God said, they went forward. Not everyone's going to believe like you, but if they're a brother or sister in Christ, if they know Christ personally, they believe in the scriptures, they believe in his return, they believe in the son of God. We're all together on salvation.

You know what? Third reason for conflict is philosophical differences. It's like Acts 15 is the conflict resolution chapter of the Bible. And here you have two close, close, great friends, even godly people. Godly people can have differences about the best way to accomplish God's will.

And that requires very hard, sometimes painful decisions to resolve the conflict. In this situation, you've got Paul and Barnabas. They've been on a missionary journey together and they took a young understudy guy by the name of Mark. Mark started on the journey.

He flaked out. They're going to go on the next journey. Paul is the leader. He's the apostle. He's task driven. He's highly get the task done oriented.

The mission is what matters. Barnabas, what's his middle name? Son of encouragement. So Barnabas says, Hey, Paul, you know, I've been talking to Mark and he's really going to do better this time. He's a sweet guy.

He just kind of had a bad trip. You know, I, you know, I've been, I've been discipling him on the side, doing a little mentoring and he's, he's doing really good in scripture memory now. And we've been memorizing lots of verses on endurance and I'm kind of adding a little to the story. And Paul says, Nope, he's not gone.

Barnabas says, Paul, you don't understand. We've been together. We're friends.

You got to trust me on this one. Paul, philosophical difference. The mission cannot be put in jeopardy by someone that we know has already failed.

God gave me the job to reach the Gentiles. That's a baggage that we cannot afford to take. He's not gone. And then it word says that Paul and Barnabas had such a schism and we get our word for a division or the word for schizophrenic. There's, there's such a parting and it was harsh and they had to agree to disagree.

Well, who was right and who was wrong? Well, the Bible picks up Paul's journeys and what he did, but it's interesting later in Paul's life, he sends a letter back part of the new Testament. He says, send Mark, because he's very useful to me.

Tell him to bring the parchments. See, Barnabas was doing what God made him to do. There's more than one way to accomplish God's will, but you need to understand those differences. And when you understand them, sometimes you need to understand, you know what, even among the best of friends, maybe this isn't the right ministry for me to team up with this person anymore. We've come to this level and maybe for the, for the glory of God, we need to agree again to disagree. Fourth reason for disunity, disharmony in the new Testament is personality differences. Even godly people can rub one another the wrong way. These call for great patience and endurance when the all moral personality traits of another person drive you crazy.

It may even require counseling. It did here Philippians four, two and three, two godly ladies. They both love God. They both have been, I mean, Paul's right arm in the ministry and he asked the church and asked the leaders, will you do a little counseling? Will you help these two ladies to learn to get along? They're both godly. They're both used of God, but whatever it is, I mean, maybe it's an introvert and extrovert, or maybe one of them chewed their ice, you know, I don't know, but for whatever reason, they're both godly people, but you put them in the same room and the spark started to fly. That can happen among godly people. You need to learn to endure, to care, to be forgiving, to put up with some stuff, to be forbearing, but it happens. And by the way, there's nothing wrong too. Sometimes in the body of Christ, everyone gets this idea that just because we're in Christ's body and we know we're committed and we're commanded to love one another, that doesn't mean you're going to like everybody the same.

That doesn't mean you're going to always want to be around everyone the same. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, How to Resolve Conflict in Relationships, from our series Love One Another. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. We all remember the famous WWJD bracelets, you know, What Would Jesus Do? Well, stay with us as we explore how Christ answers that profound question by revisiting an excerpt from Chip's series Love One Another. He'll delve into the book of Romans and focus on two specific ways we can show the love of Jesus to people, accountability and navigating conflict.

Learn how to be a truth-telling friend and gracefully handle friction in our relationships. To learn more about this entire series, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, before we go any further, our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me now to share a quick word.

Thanks so much, Dave. If you've been listening to Living on the Edge for a while, you may have heard me talk about BIO. The B is for Before God, the I for In Community, and the O for On Mission. And here at Living on the Edge, we have about a million folks who listen each week like you are right now. We've got hundreds of thousands who use our small group studies, read the book, and go to the website every year. And for many, the teaching and the resources we provide through Living on the Edge, it helps them understand what it really means to come before God and to meet Him and experience Him. For others, it's kind of their lifeline to doing life in community. But there's a relatively smaller group of people who step up and say, I'm all in. We want to be on mission with you, and we want to make this ministry happen.

So here's what I'm asking. Nearly all that we do at Living on the Edge is only possible through the financial partnerships of folks like you. Will you help? Will you pray about becoming a partner with Living on the Edge financially? Would you stand in agreement with us on our mission as we pursue in this day and age to help Christians really live like Christians? Thank you for doing whatever God leads you to do.

Thanks, Chip. Well, as you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry, I want to remind you that every gift is significant and when you partner with Living on the Edge, you multiply our efforts and resources in amazing ways. Give a gift today by calling us at 888-333-6003 or by visiting LivingOnTheEdge.org.

That's LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003. App listeners, tap donate. We appreciate your generosity. Well, here again is Chip with a few final words for us to think about. We live with a lot of conflict, and as we close today's broadcast, I want to probe a little bit about what's behind the conflict. I think as believers, we tend to jump very quickly and think that every conflict is a spiritual one. We tend to assume there's someone's right and someone's wrong.

God is on someone's team and he's not on the other team. But we walk through today and we learned, even in Scripture, that disharmony can happen, one, because of growth and unmet needs. There's not a bad person when the early church was exploding, but needs were created that caused conflict. Conflict sometimes tells us, you know what, we need to address some issues. There's not a bad person here. Second, there's theological differences. You know, good people that really love God can take some core passages and interpret them a little differently, not over major issues, but over some minor issues. And you know something?

There's not bad people here. We can agree to disagree. We learn there's philosophical differences. You know, you're made and I'm made and others are made with a desire to accomplish certain things. And you have Barnabas who says, I want to care about this John Mark. And you got Paul and says, buddy, you care about him. I'm going to go on with the mission.

No one's bad here. Different gifts, different philosophies for what God wanted to accomplish. And then finally, you know, in the church, there's just personality differences. There's certain people that you're not going to quite connect with.

They kind of rub you the wrong way. We're called to be tolerant, to bear with one another, not to live in conflict. Now the real core of conflict, the most common one, is sin. And in our next broadcast, we're going to talk about how do you live in harmony with others when carnality or sin is what divides us. But I would just like for you, as you go throughout the rest of your day, think about the people that produce conflict in your world and ask yourself, does it have to be a wrong or right issue? Or maybe you could back off a little bit and realize maybe this is normal.

Maybe we're just different. Maybe there's not a bad and good here. Maybe we could live in harmony. That's some really insightful advice, Chip, especially in the hostile and unkind world we live in. Thanks for that. As we close, you know a great way to get plugged in with our resources here at Living on the Edge is through the Chip Ingram app. You can listen to past series, sign up for daily discipleship, and more. Let us help you experience God in a new personal way, starting today with the Chip Ingram app. We'll listen to next time as Chip wraps up his series, Love One Another. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-30 04:15:07 / 2024-05-30 04:25:30 / 10

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