"I beg you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose." (1 Corinthians 1:10 LB)
Stop trying to win arguments.
Instead, make it your goal to love those who disagree with you. Go for the love, not the win. Jesus tells us love will always win; he guaranteed that when he walked out of the tomb.
When you find yourself in an argument with other believers, use these biblical guidelines for getting along:
Let mercy guide your response (Proverbs 3:3–6). In a conflict, most of us say we only want what’s fair, but God’s approach isn’t about being fair. It’s about grace and mercy (Romans 5:8).
Let God determine the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8). The truth is not determined by your thoughts or feelings (1 John 4:1) or the opinions of others. Truth is what God says it is; he is the sole authority for interpreting any situation (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The Bible says we shouldn’t rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), that what appears to be right to us may very well be wrong (Proverbs 14:12).
Look for God’s presence (Matthew 28:20). Satan wants us to believe we’re in the battle alone. Follow the example of the young shepherd boy, David, who believed God was in the fight and that the battle belonged to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47).
Look for the conflict’s true source (Ephesians 6:12). According to God’s Word, we’re really not fighting other people; our real enemy is Satan and his “unseen spiritual forces of wickedness.”
Lay down human weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). When we try to meet our own needs, working independently of God, we tend to use what the Apostle Paul called weapons of the flesh. These include: manipulation, gossip, slander, ridicule, threats, blame, nagging, deception, and silence. When we use them, we end up in an “evil for evil” cycle, and that’s like trying to fight a skunk with “stink” — everybody loses!
Learn to use spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4). The Bible tells us that prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon. After we put on the whole armor of God, we’re to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).
Talk About It
If you have a conflict with another believer, what should you do today about it?
Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals. This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.