How to Resolve Conflict [Matthew 18:20 Daily Devotional]
While it’s true that we can experience the Holy Spirit in a small group of people, this verse is written in the context of conflict resolution. Not to push the point too far, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t even need multiple people to be present in us because he lives in our hearts here and now.
Looking at this verse in its proper context is helpful because we all deal with conflict. Matthew 18:15-17 lays out a 3 step plan of how to resolve conflict within the church, and then the passage ends with this verse. The first step is to try to handle it alone, but if that doesn’t work you bring someone else along with you. Lastly, if that fails, Jesus says to treat the person who has a problem with you as “a pagan or tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). Since this is Jesus we’re talking about, we can assume that he means to love that person as God loves them.
It’s important to go through that process with other people as witnesses. Life isn’t meant to be done alone, even in conflict resolution, and that’s what this verse is really saying.
How to Resolve Conflict
This verse within its context is the application. If you feel wronged by someone within the church, I encourage you to follow the process in Matthew 18:15-20. If the first step doesn’t work, bring in a trusted third party because whatever you agree on there, you can be sure that Jesus also agrees as long as it’s honoring to him. I’ll close with a paraphrased verse of the Apostle Paul, “Do your best to live in peace with everyone.”
Father, thank you for the ability to do life with other people. Bring to mind people that I may have conflict with. Help me to do my best to live in peace with everyone I come into contact with. When conflict does arise, give me the courage to address it just as you have commanded me to handle it. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
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