- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 11/7/2008
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
There are all sorts of prescriptions for conflict. When relationships are put to the test and feelings are hurt, and the tension builds and friendships are broken, there are ways to make the situation worse. Here are a few.
Jump to irrational conclusions. Do not verify what is true and what is not true. But if you do go that far, don't verify if you have gathered all the facts. Here one side of the story and pass a verdict. Assume the worst of the situation or the person you are dealing with. This is a great prescription for when things go wrong.
Get 2nd hand information from 2nd hand sources. Yes, so it ties in to the first point. Instead of verifying what is true and not true, just base all your assumptions on people and points that cannot be substantiated. Don't get to the sources.
Take everything personal. Assume everyone is out to get you and has impure motives and that they want to see you destroyed. Let your imagination run wild about all the conspirators who are waiting to conquer you. Be so sensitive that every word that comes out of every mouth is to spite you.
Run with your immediate emotions. Don't think it through. Give in to the emotion of the situation. Go even futher. If you feel angry, hurt or even frustrated, make your opponents feel the same amount of pain or worse if necessary. It will help even the playing field.
Okay, as you can see I'm being facetious. Let's look at some pointed Bible verses instead!
"The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps." (Proverbs 14:15)
"He who answers a matter before he hears it,It is folly and shame to him." (Proverbs 18:13)
"Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth " (Proverbs 22:20-21)
"For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. " (1 Peter 3:10)
"A wrathful man stirs up strife" (Proverbs 15:18)
"He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail." (Proverbs 22:8)
"Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure" (Psalm 101:5)
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1Peter 3:9)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:23-26)
"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)