What does the Bible say about disputes and where should you address them first?
The fight is all around us. In fact, it is causing great divisions and disturbances in our world today. Everyone seems to treat it differently. You can participate in it or withdraw from it. However, God has clearly defined in his Word how he wants his people to deal with him. As believers, we must ask ourselves, "What does the Bible say about conflict?" In this article, Scott Iwahashi, an elder at Hope for Generations Church, identifies the root of the problem and explains what each of us can do as individuals to be part of the solution, not the contamination.
What is at the heart of the problem?
The legacy of strife and conflict has haunted people for generations, beginning with Cain and Abel. Spirits of violence and death have erupted, leaving havoc in their wake. In our societies today, especially in the realm of politics, people are debating ways to make the world a safer place, free from conflict and its consequences. When trying to address collective problems, we often forget to address a key component: the individual.
In essence, every society is made up of individuals. The level of disputeFriedenfound in the life of an individual will inevitably seep into the world around them. It would be crazy to suppose that a person who is not at peace with God or with himself could bring peace to his neighbor in any way.
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the first and principal commandment.39 And the second is similar: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Matthew 22:37-39 King James Version
Where do the fights start?
If we want to address the dispute in society, we don't have to go far. Many of the fundamental issues affecting our communities, states, and countries can be easily observed at work in our homes.the health offamily unitor the lack of it will be reflected in all our human interactions.sin and injusticefound at home are taken out into the world around them with family members.
Have you ever been around angry and angry children arguing with others? It is not uncommon for the same children to come from difficult family backgrounds. Many of those who are abandoned or abused at home exhibit behaviors that reflect their extreme difficulties at school or in the marketplace.
How the dispute manifests itself
In more subtle ways, we can also manifest the dysfunctions of our injustices. Arguments can manifest through overt physical violence or sneak in in many smaller ways. With the advent of social media, it's easier than ever to hit with a keyboard or smartphone. It can be used to take revenge through defamatory photographs or statements; even discussions with people we don't know personally.
What does the Bible say about fighting?
At other times, we may discuss face to face with those around us at work or at home. Regardless of where it takes place, if we want a more peaceful planet, we must address some of the same issues that plagued the Old Testament nation of Israel. They wanted God to bless them, but their hearts were not right.
3 Why do we fast, they say, and you don't see? Why have we tormented our souls, and you do not take knowledge? Behold, on the day of your fasting you will find joy and exalt all your works. 4Behold, you fast for strife and strife,and wound with the fist of malice; You will not fast like today, so that your voice may be heard on high.Jesacha 58:3-4 King James Version
How does God deal with conflict?
The Israelites usedreligious practicesgain advantage over others, but God would not answer them according to their wrong motives. Instead, he came up with a much more sophisticated solution:
Isn't that the fast I chose? loose the bonds of wickedness, loosen heavy burdens, and set the oppressed free, and break every yoke?Jesacha 58:6 King James Version
We need to repent when we are motivated by contention and the desire to harm or dominate others in our professional or personal lives. However, we must also be willing to turn to the same people as we repent before God the Father. It is tempting to fall into the trap of turning inward to prepare to one day serve and care for others. We must be willing to take risks and be willing to take the step of trusting our lack of "perfection" and reaching out to others.
A Biblical challenge for your life
This is not a social or political position. The scriptural challenge is to go out and love and care for others. Many of us grew up in selfish, achievement-oriented lifestyles. Maybe we don't know how to love and care for others. Today is an excellent opportunity to learn.
The application can be as simple as being nice to others when we go to the supermarket. In other situations, it can be found in conversation and allowing God to use you to pray for someone in need.
This journey has a practical sideFear of man and fear of failure.prevents believers from persecuting her. We must be willing to trust that God the Father will work with us as we interact with those around us without fear of rejection or embarrassment.
we have to accept thatwe will make mistakes. The only way we learn is by taking the risk and speaking up when we feel unable. We wouldn't need faith in God if we could do it on our own.
Don't avoid your family
Perhaps the most challenging part of this scripture is found in the following statement:
Is it not that you give your bread to the hungry and bring to your house the poor who are expelled? when you see the naked, you cover it; and that you do not hide from your own flesh?Jesacha 58:7 King James Version
The last part of that statement is, "Hide not from your own flesh." Do you know who it is? They are our families. Do you remember the beginning of this letter? The only way we can learn to live in peace is if we are willing to address our family problems. Well, I know there are situations of extreme abuse, and I'm not suggesting that people put themselves out there. However, for many of us problems and conflicts arise when we are close to those close to us that we must address.
Our biggest challenge with conflicts is in our own homes.
The challenge for our own lives and thefight for injusticeIt affects our families. If there is a group of people on the planet that most reflects our problems, they are the ones closest to us. Pressing interactions with our families will reveal certain depths of generational sin that few other relationships will reveal. Their fights are usually similar to ours.
In fact, it is worth considering that the answers God gave through Isaiah 58 are interconnected. The Israelites clamored for a solution to their problems. They wanted all their fighting and conflicts to end, but God revealed to them that the root of their problem was twofold:
- they were not willing to care and love others and
- Their problems arose from a break in relationships within their own families.
A good indicator of our spirituality is our ability to stay at peace with our families. The extent to which we can be close to them without getting swept up in their conflicts and problems reflects our spiritual growth. If we find that there are still problems, do not fall into despair and condemnation. There is more to do and God the Father can help uslearn to be with our family in a healthy way. With discernment we will learnapartour family and ourselves from evil spirits. This provides the opportunity to grow in freedom and embrace a more peaceful life.
Then your light will spring up like the morning, and your health will spring up quickly; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of Jehovah will be your reward.Jesacha 58:8 King James Version
Elder of the Hope of Generations Church
We can be part of the solution
The mission of Be in Health isEstablish generations of victors. Controversy is just another area that God wants to talk about. As we continue to search for an answer to the question, "What does the Bible say about strife?" God will bring us personal revelation that will help us establish our ways in his righteousness.
We can ask God for his wisdom and discernment. By doing this, we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to truth and justice. We must not rely on our own understanding or allow a spirit ofaccusationpointing fingers in a harmful way. God wants to meet us in this area so that he can bring peace first to our homes and then to the world around us.
Let us join God in the work of restoration so that he can use us to be the light in a darkening world!
Or as Dr. Henry Wright used to say:"Let's be part of the solution, not the pollution!"
Would you like to read more? Here are more articles like this:
Spare No God's Mercy - by Pastor John Shales
Ending the Blame Game - by Scott Iwahashi
Building a foundation for future generations - by Scott Iwahashi
Life is an opportunity - by Pastor Donna Wright
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