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How to Approach Confrontation with Grace Part 2

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Now that we know why we practice conflict resolution, let’s talk about how.  

It can be argued that in America, we just don’t know how to do it.  It’s not taught in schools and there certainly isn’t a Conflict Resolution 101 course at college.  And we see its detrimental effects in the staggering divorce rate, amongst our political leaders, and certainly in the workplace.  

The Bible gives us an outline for approaching disagreements in Matthew 18:15-17.  But before we even begin that process, it’s important to evaluate if confrontation is even necessary.  

Everyone has a bad day here and there and it’s important to remember that no one is perfect.  So try to honestly ask yourself if you can forgive and forget it.  Most of the time, a little distance is all we need.  But if the problem persists, then you can proceed with a conversation.  

Step 1: Speak Quickly 

We’ve all held onto anger longer than we should have but if we resolve issues quickly, it preserves the relationship and keeps every party moving forward.  It’s also important to approach the other person one on one.  We do this to keep from embarrassing the other party and protect their reputation as well.  

What do you say when you speak? There’s only two pieces of information you have… 

  1. What the other person said or did 
  2. How it affected you 

When you start off, simply state what the problem was and how it made you feel.    

E.G. “When you say x, I feel y” rather than “You tried to hurt me, You’re a terrible person.”  That second approach won’t get you very far and will 100% damage the relationship.  Remember, the goal is to speak truth in love so that we will grow. 

Step 2: Choose the Right Time 

In addition to not waiting too long, it’s also important to choose the right time.  Obviously, you wouldn’t pull them aside at a funeral or right before a big test.  Ask them when a good time is and plan around both schedules.  

By giving them a heads up, it allows them time to prepare to have a conversation.  No one likes to be blind sided.  

Step 3: Speak from Heart 

Easier said than done but it’s important to set your heart posture when bringing issues up.  Our goal is to preserve relationships, help others grow, and speak truth.  We don’t attack someone else from a win-lose position.  

Whether the other person is a Christian or not, our goal as Christ-followers is to be more like Jesus and in turn encourage others to do the same.  Jesus approached each interaction with the goal of grace, not shame.

Remember, we speak truth in love so that we can grow together.  


Confrontation doesn’t have to be scary.  It’s not pleasant but when we learn how to engage each other elegantly, we have a better chance of winning others for Christ and growing the Kingdom together.  

Let’s learn how to come to conflict in a way that’s God-honoring.  And you can start today.  

***If you or your family are in immediate danger, it’s best not to confront a violent party alone.  Please seek help from community or local law enforcement. 


If you found this article helpful, you may enjoy our other post: The WHY of Conflict Resolution.  Thanks for being a supporter of Rock Springs Church! 

Posted by Tess Hammock with

How to Approach Conflict with Grace

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Christians and Conflict: How to Approach Confrontation with Grace 


The old adage says “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes”.  It can be argued, though, that there’s a third, just as certain issue: conflict.  


It’s one constant that will perpetuate itself throughout our lives and if we don’t learn how to deal with it (and well), we will go through life disturbed and unhappy.  


So what should we, as apprentices of Christ, do when we disagree with others?  


Whether the other party is a fellow Christian or not, there are ways to approach conflict.  Before we get into the how, let’s look at the why… 




No one wants to have that conversation; it’s awkward.  Most of the time, both parties walk away feeling defeated and deflated.  Confrontation is an intimidating process so why would we subject ourselves to it?  


Generally, conflict happens when we’ve been wronged or when our ideas encounter friction with another’s.  And usually, we store up the hurt or anger until we become bitter towards another person.  When we do this, we allow a wall to be built between us and others but more importantly, it blocks our fellowship with God. 


1 John 4:20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 


If for no other reason than to be able to continue communion with Christ, we also engage in tough conversations to make each other better.  


“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  


When you sharpen a knife, you don’t bang another piece of metal against it.  You go along with the other metal to shave away anything that doesn’t belong.  By walking with each other, challenging our brothers and sisters to remove those things that keep us from growing, we are making the body of Christ more holy.  


As Christians, we don’t simply accept our brothers and sisters as they are. We love them, but we don’t let them stay in sin or continue destructive behaviors.  


The kid at the drive through accepts you for who you are; you won’t get a lecture alongside a quarter pounder.  


A good coach or mentor doesn’t tell you how wonderful you are all the time - their job is to make you better, to disagree with you, not keep you just as you are.  


We do the same to grow the body of Christ and increase our sanctification.  


The why can be summed up in one sentence: we speak the truth in love so that we can grow together.  

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