S28P1 – Our saintly duty: conflict resolution
1 Cor. 6:1-3
Does any one of you, when he has a complaint with another believer, dare to go to law before unrighteous men instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more then matters of this life?
I think a great way to determine the duty of the average believer is to look at the gifts that God gives us. It only makes sense that his spiritual gifts are given as a way of assigning responsibility. For example, if God gives me the gift of compassion, it is because He will make sure to bring people into my life who need me to exercise that gift over them. If God gives me the gift of hospitality, I would expect that He wants me to be welcoming to people in my church or in my home. It is no different with wisdom. Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That means that we start being wise when we recognize the greatness of God and begin to fear him. If He gives us wisdom, it is because we are to be responsible to exercise it. Today’s scripture tells us we should use our Godly wisdom to resolve our conflicts among ourselves.
I remember being a young boy and wanting my parents to trust us kids to stay home alone if even for a short time. But every time they left us to manage ourselves chaos ensued. As preteens and teenagers we simply did not have the wisdom to be able to get along and remain peaceful for a relatively short period of time. We do not want our Father in heaven to be looking down on us and seeing that kind of foolish and childish behavior. Conflict resolution for the saints is different than conflict resolution for the world. Our ideas of justice and judgment are founded in the righteousness of God, and those must be the foundations of our resolutions. God imparts his wisdom to us as a way of allowing us to be responsible to wisely judge matters between ourselves and settle issues in a Godly way without requiring intervention from the ungodly. This is our duty.
Conflict among believers should not arise often. When it does, a resolution should not be difficult to achieve. If one truly has godly love for the brethren, one will put them first. This should mean that our conflicts with each other will be few and far between. When we do have issues to resolve, we should be able to rely on the wisdom of God to come to a resolution. This will require a certain level of transparency with our brothers and sisters as well as a certain level of trust. But if we take God’s scriptural instruction seriously, we will do what it takes to resolve our conflicts in the way that we are commanded to resolve them. Father, thank You that You impart the necessary wisdom for us to resolve our conflicts within the church, and increase our love so that those conflicts are rare.