This article offers four steps to biblical conflict resolution: realize that conflict is unavoidable, initiate reconciliation, avoid lingering conflict, and release anger by turning to prayer.

2015. 2 pages.

Making Peace at Work: Resolving Conflict Biblically

Conflict is inevitable, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, for many, the workplace is a very stressful place to spend most of our waking hours. Even non-believers quickly perceive the difference between a healthy working environment and a toxic one that wears them down and puts them on edge. Christian business owners & CEOs are called to be Christ’s stewards and ambassadors by providing an environment that helps our team to form healthy habits, shares Christ’s love, and gives stakeholders insight into His Kingdom.   However, the typical workplace is ‘miles apart’ from a unified, high-performance, team-based culture. According to recent workplace research:

  • 53% of workers lose productive work time due to conflict
  • 66% of absences are due to personal/family problems (not illness)
  • 87% of employees will work harder for a company that helps them deal with personal issues

Even in well-led workplaces, aggravating exceptions and the derailing influence of sinful behavior frequently intrudes. What can a Christian business owner do? As with most business problems, solutions begin with sound leadership. You and your key managers must have a shared vision for the workplace if you're to operate in a manner that honors our Lord, equips employees to succeed, and encourages them toward healthy personal relationships in and out of the workplace. When managed Biblically, conflict can serve as a catalyst for change and an opportunity for spiritual and relational growth.

Four steps to Biblical conflict resolution:🔗

1. Realize that conflict is an unavoidable. Christians living with the false hope that a ‘holy’ life will be conflict-free will only feel frustration when this flawed hope is regularly dashed. God’s greatest servants have all proven themselves in the crucible of conflict. As Jesus demonstrated, healthy confrontations are pivotal teaching times. As leaders of God’s businesses, we need a realistic view of conflict.

2. Be the peacemaker- initiate reconciliation. Greater spiritual maturity carries the greater burden for peacemaking. Thus, in conflicts between believers and nonbelievers, responsibility lies mostly with the believer as they possess spiritual maturity. In conflicts between believers, the more mature believer should display the obedience and humility needed to initiate reconciliation.

3. Avoid lingering conflict. When we become aware of an offense, we’re responsible for taking action to resolve it, even when we’re ‘innocent’. Scripture says that if we’re on our way to church and realize that we have unresolved conflict with another, we should resolve it before offering our worship to God (Mt 5:23). Jesus simply said that we should promptly resolve things. He also said that peacemakers are blessed and will be called children of God (Mt 5:9).

4. Release anger by turning to prayer. Conflict would be infinitely more difficult to address if God’s Word hadn’t provided clear direction. God provides wise alternatives to the world’s way of doing things. Consider these commands: Bless and pray for those who curse or mistreat you (Lk 6:28). A critical step in resolving conflict is to pray for, not just about, the other party.   Prayer can help to release anger and malice in our hearts. By praying for the other party and asking God to show us our responsibility, we begin the process on solid footing.

Let your actions point to the truth🔗

No method will perfectly handle all situations. Some people and circumstances won’t respond to the simple steps outlined. But by doing these few things – praying for those we have conflict with, going to them in person with a gentle answer, and applying Biblical wisdom as we seek peace – not only will conflicts be more easily resolved; our actions will point to the truth and efficacy of God’s ways.

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