Conflict Resolution

3 Keys to Solving Problems Biblically

Steve Kroening asked:

The key to being ready for marriage rests in your ability to solve problems biblically. Here are three things you need to solve conflict.

The first key to solving problems biblically is pretty obvious — you have to know the Scriptures. While that seems like common sense, it never fails to amaze me how little people know about the Word of God. I heard one friend say the other day, “I know the gist of the story.” Well, he might know “the gist” of what the Bible says, but he’ll never be able to solve problems God’s way with such cursory knowledge.

Proverbs says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Clearly, the Lord is holding up knowledge as a desirable goal here, and He’s also saying that it is built upon a fear of Him. If all you know about the Bible is “the gist” of it, there isn’t much fear of the Lord in your heart. And that means your problem-solving skills are probably geared toward getting your way. That leads us to our second key…

You’ve got to have the desire to solve problems according to God’s Word. Whether they know the Bible well or not, many people simply aren’t interested in applying it to their personal relationships. Some don’t believe the Bible is relevant to personal relationships. Others are just naive. But for most, it’s because of their selfish desires, which leads us to key #3.

You’ve got to be willing to put your ego behind you. Conflict almost always starts because of a selfish motive. It can come from just one person or it can come from everyone involved in the argument. But the core problem in almost every conflict is someone is trying to satisfy a selfish desire.

How can I be so sure? James 4:1 asks us: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” And then in verse 2, James says: “You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

But if you can put your selfish ambition aside, and act in humility, peace will reign in your relationships.

One final tip: Every time you get into an argument, remind yourself that at least one of you (probably both) is being selfish — then always look at yourself long and hard before trying to identify the selfishness in the other person. The quicker you submit your desires to God’s Word, the quicker your conflict will end with a God-pleasing result.

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