Pursuing Peace: A Biblical Approach to Conflict Resolution

Pursuing Peace: A Biblical Approach to Conflict Resolution


Matthew 18:15 (NIV)

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

Whether it’s with family, friends, coworkers, or fellow believers, disagreements are bound to arise. How we handle these conflicts can make a significant difference in our relationships and our faith community.

In Matthew 18:15, Jesus offers a clear and practical approach to conflict resolution. His guidance underscores the importance of addressing conflicts directly and privately. It’s a process designed to promote understanding, reconciliation, and ultimately, peace.

Here are a few key principles we can draw from this scripture:

  1. Address the Issue Privately:  When a conflict arises, resist the urge to gossip, complain to others, or post your grievances on social media. Instead, follow Jesus’ advice and approach the person involved in private. This one-on-one interaction provides a safe and respectful space for honest communication.


  1. Clear is Kind: While it’s important to address the issue, do so with love and humility. The goal is not to accuse or condemn but to help the other person recognize their actions. Remember that we all make mistakes and addressing wrongdoing and hurt should be done with an attitude of grace.


  1. Listen: Conflict resolution is a two-way street. It’s not just about pointing out the fault; it’s also about being willing to listen and understand the other person’s perspective. Healthy communication involves active listening and empathy.


  1. Seek Resolution Over Being Right: The ultimate aim of this process is restoration of the relationship. It’s about reconciliation. Approach the conversation with a heart that longs for peace and unity.


  1. Cultivate Trust: Maintain the confidentiality of the conversation. Avoid sharing the details of the conflict with others unless it becomes necessary to involve them, as outlined in the subsequent verses of Matthew 18.


Conflict resolution is a vital aspect of maintaining healthy and harmonious relationships, both within our faith communities and in our personal lives. It reflects the principles of forgiveness, grace, and love that Jesus taught. When we follow His guidance and approach conflicts with humility and a desire for reconciliation, we contribute to the peace and unity of our communities and reflect the love of Christ to the world.


Can you think of a recent conflict in your life that could have been resolved more effectively by following the principles outlined in Matthew 18:15?

What steps can you take to foster a spirit of reconciliation and unity when conflicts arise, in line with the teachings of Jesus?