Conflict Resolution: Confront Someone in Love

“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don't give the Devil a chance.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 GN)

Conflict happens. There’s no avoiding it.

When conflict comes up, you have to deal with it head-on. Don't let it fester. It’s a big mistake to think, “I’ll ignore it and hope it will go away.”

Ignoring conflict does not get rid of it. The Apostle Paul says, “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don't give the Devil a chance” (Ephesians 4:26-27 GN).

This verse implies that there is an anger that leads to sin and there is an anger that doesn't lead you into sin. There is a right way to get angry, and there is a wrong way to get angry.

How do you know the difference?

The wrong kind of anger is anger that is not resolved quickly. Anger that is not dealt with turns into resentment and then into bitterness. Bitterness is always sin. Resentment is always sin. Those emotions are always wrong.

How do I deal with conflict quickly? The solution to resolving conflict is confrontation. If you’re going to resolve conflict, you must confront.

You don’t have to confront in anger, though. In fact, you shouldn’t confront in anger. Lovingly go to the person and, speaking the truth in love, deal with the problem immediately.

The Bible gives us three rules for confrontation: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

If you do the first two, the third one is automatic. If you're quick to listen and you're slow to speak, then you will be slow to anger.

Talk About It

What kind of feelings do you have when you know you have to confront someone? Why do you think you feel that way?

Do you believe God can guide you in a confrontation, even if you feel fear or intimidation?

The Bible says we should confront with love. What do you think that looks like?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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