Petty differences, grudges, and jealousies were affecting a church’s staff. They didn’t fellowship with one another—working secluded in their offices behind closed doors. When they had to communicate, it was short and to the point. On Sundays, however, they pasted on happy faces in front of the congregation. Their inability to deal with conflict resulted in a poisonous work environment for the entire staff and hampered effective ministry.
In his letter to the Philippian church, the apostle Paul pleaded with Euodia and Syntyche to settle their conflict (Philippians 4:2). These two women had worked alongside Paul to share the good news of the gospel with others (Philippians 4:3). But for some reason a disagreement had become so out of hand that it prompted Paul to publicly beg them to work out their differences. He wanted their relationships to reflect the truth of the gospel (Philippians 4:1). Notice that Paul addressed the conflict. He didn’t pretend it wasn’t there, downplay it, or avoid it.
Maybe you’re in the midst of a church conflict. You’ve been wronged, treated unfairly, or misrepresented. Perhaps you’re considering walking away from the church or indulging in a personal form of vengeance or payback. Instead of pulling away, through God’s strength, could you heed Paul’s admonition to do your best to pursue what’s “honorable” and “admirable”? (Philippians 4:8).
Conflict resolution is hard work—requiring humility and a commitment to love others, including fellow believers who may be acting more like enemies. Humility and love can only come from relying on the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) and the wisdom of other believers. May God provide the wisdom you need to address conflict in a way that honors Him.
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”