Wisdom for Conflict Resolution – Proverbs 25:16-28

“A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls”

Some things in life are inevitable. Like death and taxes, conflict seems unavoidable. As long as you live in this world within any proximity to another human being, you are bound to experience some sort of conflict. Such clashing may be a result of our different value systems and personalities. When we don’t see eye-to-eye with one another, feelings get hurt. Some people take things too personally, while others are insensitive. Sociologists have studied reasons behind conflict for generations, and while some of their conclusions contain truth, many miss the foundational reason why we have conflict: human depravity.

Sin has disrupted God’s intent for human harmony. Our sin nature causes us to put ourselves first and others last. It drives us to be inconsiderate and tactless. It is the reason why we fight one another.

Conflict enters every facet of society: home, work, even the church. We all long for perfect unity in these institutions but we struggle with getting there. The Bible has recognized this phenomenon long before sociology was even a branch of science. The Book of Job contains an inspired statement that ought to be on the wall in every office of every human resources representative on earth: “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).

When you find yourself in conflict, remember the reality of sin – not just the sin in the one with whom you have conflict, but your sin as well. At the root of your warring is a problem that no HR rep can solve without the life-changing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel not only destroys the enmity between God and man, it obliterates the hostility between man and man. Cultural, socioeconomic, and personality differences are transcended and those who would otherwise have nothing to do with one another are now one in Christ! When you look around the church and see people with whom you have little in common, remember that it took the death and resurrection of the Son of God to bring you together!

The gospel has restored God’s intent for human harmony. Though we are formally united to one another in Christ, we still must work at unity functionally. We’re still sinners but we’ve been given God’s word and his Spirit to help us. Proverbs 25:16-28 is a treasure chest of practical wisdom that we prayerfully believe will help us all when dealing with conflict.


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