By Deborah Bell
(Lead Apostle DGAN Global Network and DGFC churches)
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. 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 that 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 necessary.
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 this way, in that in the Scriptures we see that He talked openly, frankly
and honestly with people, but always in love. We are called to follow His example of
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.
2. If 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.
3. Keeping silent can be a good thing, but when it means withholding truth it can be
damaging to relationships.
4. The power of agreement is a major principle in the Scriptures. It is in the spirit of
unity that the Church flourishes.
5. 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 creates an atmosphere of insincerity when we are not being honest or authentic
about what is really going on.
Sometimes, people don’t deal with issues by discussion because it 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.
Deal with the issues that have caused division. 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 Church globally is that people don’t talk to each other about what’s really going on. It builds up, causing resentment which perpetuates wrong perceptions of each other, causing a “poisoning” in the Body of Christ.
Offence, rightly or wrongly taken, is one of the biggest reasons people leave the church.
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 then you’ve done all you can. As long as you are doing the listening
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.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one
another.” – Jn 13:34
Apostle Deborah Bell