1 Corinthians 6 Lesson

Managing Disputes

MANAGING DISAGREEMENTS

As members of the Lord’s Church, we are indeed one body and one Spirit. That, however, does not mean that we will never run into disagreements. When we do, God has a plan for us to manage the disagreement quickly, and effectively.

As Paul writes to the Corinthians, he reminds them that they are Christians first. They all were saved through the blood of Jesus, and they all recognize God’s divinity and power:  

  • “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.     For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

TALKING IT OUT

Through his letter, Paul tells the Corinthians Paul that they should be able to settle their differences without having to go to an outside court. Instead, he wants them to talk to one another. Paul’s comments lead to the question, “How many disagreements could be settled if we would simply take the time to talk to one another when something has upset us?”   That is what God’s Word tells us to do. And when we have this conversation, God tells us to do it privately, one on one.  

Most of the time this will resolve the concern.   We sometimes get into trouble when we bring other people into the conversation.   Gossiping about our concerns, or in today’s world, airing our grievances on social media, is not in accordance with God’s word and will only make things worse.    

If we are upset with a brother or sister about something, we need to ask them if we can talk about it with them.   Often, this will resolve the issue and restore church unity.

NEXT STEPS

In the rare instances where things cannot be resolved, Jesus told us what we should do next:

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Mathew 18:15-17.

STOP, CHALLENGE, AND CHOOSE

There is a helpful technique that we can apply to any situation where there are disputes. It is called, “Stop, Challenge, and Choose,” and here is how it works:

STOP

When disputes arise between the brethren, taking the time to STOP and pray to God is profoundly important. Pausing to gather our thoughts and let our emotions subside is a wise thing to do.

CHALLENGE

After praying to God and getting our thoughts out, we need to challenge ourselves to search the Bible and find out what God’s Word has to say on the subject. Identifying the scriptures that apply to our situation is the next step we should take as we work to settle any disputes among the brethren.

CHOOSE

After we have talked to the person that we are having a dispute with, prayed about it, and searched the scriptures, we are ready to choose our course of action. Whatever our decision is, it needs to be grounded in love and have pure motives.

Stop, challenge, and choose! Practicing these three steps is a fantastic way to work through any disputes that we are having with members of the church.

CONCLUSION

In John’s first epistle, he describes God as being love.

  • “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-8.

Knowing this, we need to do everything that we can to seek peace and love with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

When disputes arise, we need to remember the love of Jesus and how we are commanded to love one another. With love and pure motives, we can manage disputes by taking the following four steps:

  1. Go directly to the person that you are having a dispute with and try to talk things out,
  2. If they do not listen, “Take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” – Mathew 18:16,
  3. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Mathew 18:17,
  4. Utilize the “Stop, challenge, and choose” technique to pray, search for related scriptures, and with the help of the Holy Spirit decide on the best course of action.

We will end today’s lesson with the following three scriptures about love:

  1. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” - John 13:34,
  2. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:35,
  3. We love, because He first loved us.If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” - 1 John 4:19-21.

Comments

Ime John

I give God Glory for me being part this it will bless my life

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Drexel Deal

In our Christian walk we will have to one day come to that place, where we can over look a wrong done to us for Christ sake. Where we can overlook a brother or sister who defrauded us for the sake of peace. Yes, I know this requires maturity on our part, when we can turn the other cheek so to speak. This is because we realize, it isn’t worth it to chase after every offense done to us. Doing so will rob us of our joy, our peace of mind and hinder our spiritual growth. As found in Proverb 19: 11;
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” NKJV.

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