Talk, Resolve, Reconcile & Love
Just look at this heading! Are we talking about the Church here? Yes!
Because we are an imperfect people all needing healing restoration and love to move into the fullness of what God has for our lives.
I have seen so much strife caused because people don’t communicate with each other. It’s healthy & important to talk to one another. I’m not talking about “small talk” that’s easy enough for most, to the extent where that’s all some people do, is talk small talk.
I’m talking about having difficult conversations with each other. I didn’t say that it’s easy talking about difficult things, but it’s own necessary and healthy.
The only way we can get passed each other’s hang ups & our own offences while we in this process called life, is to do what the word says, even when it’s difficult and that is to talk, resolve, reconcile and then to continue on in love!
Jesus modeled it for us to learn from. In the Scriptures we see that He talked openly, frankly and honestly with people, but always in love and with respect. We are called to follow His example of reconciliation.
When defense mechanisms caused from unhealed hurts and rejection are at play, it’s very difficult for people to follow the model of Jesus because they are usually not teachable, or willing to admit any wrongdoing or take any responsibility.
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. – Prov. 24:26.
In Gal 6:1 & Matt 18:15, the Word calls all believers to be accountable to one another (among other scriptures).
These passages also teach us how to manage conflict and in doing so according to the word, we defuse the enemy.
We must talk things out with one another. It’s healthy and scriptural, but it must be done with respect and love.
God gives us the directives in the word of how we do this:
1. Be honest with each other.
There is nothing worse than dishonesty coming from the mouth of believers. There are many reasons people struggle to be honest, low self esteem, fear, rejection, even deceit, and the list goes on.
There is never an excuse or reason that ‘makes it right’ for us to be dishonest or lie to anyone including loved ones, in any situation. First base is always a foundation of honesty if there is to be trust.
2. Confront the Truth in Love.
If and when confrontation is necessary, learn to tell the truth or confront the truth in LOVE as the Scriptures teach us. This builds the best relationships. If you love someone, tell them the truth in love.
Real love doesn’t have an alternative agenda. Real love always has the best interests of the other person in mind.
Keeping silent can be a good thing when we need to do the listening or when we need to stop talking, but when it means withholding truth it can be very damaging to relationships.
Scripture defines love this way:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the TRUTH.
It always protects,
Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
When our understanding of love does mostly what is opposite to 1 Cor. 13, it’s usually a clear sign we need inner healing to break a cycle of oppression.
3. Agreement Brings Unity.
The power of agreement is a major principle in the Scriptures. It is in the spirit of unity that the Church flourishes because when we understand the power of agreement among believers in the spiritual dimension, we realize that agreement brings unity and that can and does nullify the plans of the evil one.
Agreement is never the ‘giving up of self’ or one’s own identity; it is always about understanding the biblicial principal of the reason and the power of agreement in the name of Jesus as a diverse body of Christ, and how it brings unity in His name.
4. Break the Silence with Constructive Dialogue
By talking things through with one another you break the spirit of Pride. Pride is one of the major tools of the enemy. This is half the battle. Recognize it and defuse it before a spiritual ‘cold war’ develops.
I’ve seen more than one or two ‘cold wars’ among Christians before; it’s worse than anything and more destructive because it creates a climate and atmosphere of mistrust & confusion (through misunderstanding), instead of building trust and having conversations to correct any misunderstanding.
The other extreme of a ‘cold war’ in the Church, is when people pretend absolutely nothing is wrong and they just smile saying bless you, when underneath the smile it is not what is really often meant.
In other words it’s often likely to be said just to “keep the peace” and in attempting to be “Christian like”.
In fact, it can often do just the opposite because people can see most of the time when we are hiding behind a smile especially if it is a “false” smile to cover up that there is something going on and the “God bless you” and the smile can add insult to injury when we are not prepared to deal with things.
This can easily create an atmosphere that is seen as insincerity when we are not being honest or authentic about what is really going on.
Sometimes, people just don’t deal with issues by healthy discussion because speaking something out makes it real and that would mean having to acknowledge when we are wrong.
This is precisely the reason we must have these conversations. Be the mature person, go to the person you are having an issue with and talk. Much of the time it is misunderstanding and can be easily resolved.
Pretending everything is okay, does not make it okay and does not make the problem go away. It may keep things at bay for a while but it is one of the most unhealthy forms of interaction I see in the Church and its crippling us. Being ‘civil’ and being honest don’t have to be two different things.
There is most certainly a time to stay silent, observe, pray and wait on Holy Spirit. But following this, a leader will always give direction and bring clarity.
We must understand the difference between godly counsel, and ‘telling’ people what to do. There is a huge difference.
Leaders are the BANKS of the river, there to guide, we are NOT the river.
But let’s be healthy and mature in our guidance and above all, Scriptural.
5. Deal with the Issues that cause Division
DEAL with the issues that have caused division, don’t sweep them under the carpet. This is a time both in the Church and our relationships, that we must correctly divide The Word of God.
Being ‘wishy washy’ to save face is not in character with the principles or examples taught and spoken by Christ.
Love includes protecting the Church and our relationships by doing what is right and dealing with issues the right way. People become very confused when they are given mixed signals by leaders who are too afraid to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. – In this, Scripture gives us clarity. (Quoted in this article).
We must as leaders always love everyone with Christ’s love, but we are mandated to always stand on the side of truth.
Nothing brings more division than when confusion sets in to the church because the leaders are not leading with clarity! (Rom 16:17, Tit 3:11).
Love people enough to deal with the issues fairly, using the Word of God as our guide always.
Remember Holy Spirit cannot operate fully in a divided church or people. Unity ushers in the anointing. Because it’s built on love not pride.
I believe one of the biggest struggles in the lives of people and in the Church globally is that people don’t talk to each other about what’s really going on.
Things builds up, which can cause resentment. This can perpetuates wrong perceptions of the other, causing a “poisoning” in the Body of Christ. Offense, rightly or wrongly taken, is one of the biggest reasons people leave the church and each other. In its extremity, lies a root of rejection and unhealed hurt.
People want to be loved, who doesn’t?!? …But, our desire to DO what the Word says and to please God, should be greater than our desire to be a people pleaser.
Standing on the side of truth is not a judgement of anyone, but rather it’s bringing clarity to the defining principles of the Word of God we as believers and especially leaders, say we honor and subscribe to.
I never recall Jesus in any part of Scripture in any dialogue ever standing in a neutral position to please people. A leader can and must stand for the truth, so others have clarity. It really doesn’t matter what people think,
No! We must not let this happen.
If we stand on the word when we preach, then we must stand on the word in everything including what the Word says about how we manage conflict and deal with issues.
We cannot simply always say, Holy Spirit will show them. Yes, there is a time for us to be silent and pray that Holy Spirit will speak to that person or people.
But if things don’t change it’s a sign that we must take action and deal with it.
God has always used people both to minister and to guide and lead. More than this, the Word is clear about this. Talking to each other is healthy and it stops us talking about each other!
If people won’t listen or are not teachable then you’ve done all you can. You have to let them go and do what they must do.
But make sure you are properly communicating and that it’s not just sitting in your head! We must also make sure that we are doing the listening too.
Remember respectful dialogue is about both sides listening to each other. The foundation must ALWAYS be love and the motive must always be because you love, and that the goal is reconciliation.
Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
“If your brother/sister sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Matt. 18:18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matt. 18:19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my heavenly Parent in heaven.
20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Matt. 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
By Apostle Deborah Bell
Lead Apostle DGAN Apostolic Network & DGFC Church