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Unfriended: 4 Keys to Resolving Conflict Peacefully

3. Love sincerely.

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. – Romans 12:9-13

If you find yourself stuck in a relationship, go back through this list and consider which area you are neglecting.

To ensure we live as peacemakers, Jesus says that the one offended should approach the one who did the offending (Matthew 18:15-17), and in another passage, He instructs that the one who has hurt someone should approach the one he offended (Matthew 5:23-24).

If reconciliation has not taken place after carefully following this process, then we should treat the offending person as someone who does not yet know Jesus. The offending person may no longer have the same responsibilities with us, but if we are to treat him or her as a “pagan or tax collector,” then we are to keep on loving without conditions. Jesus spent his time and energy interacting with pagans and tax collectors, loving and serving them.

With whom do you need to have a conversation today? You’ve let bitterness grow in your heart. They may not even know you are hurt! Maybe you’ve assumed the worst – never giving them a chance to share what was actually happening.

Maybe there is someone in your life that you’ve hurt. You didn’t mean to do so, but you’ve refused to apologize because of your pride. If you have a broken relationship, what are you going to do about it?

Talk things through. So often, we fight with people in our minds before we ever actually talk! Too often, we get in trouble for something we didn’t know we did. We need to communicate expectations rather impose them.

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Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Eric previously served at Mosaic in Los Angeles and his books include Not Like Me: A Field Guide to a Influencing a Diverse World and A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership.