Proverbs 19:11 “A person with discretion is not easily angered; he gains respect by overlooking an offense. The Bible gives some bad examples for handling conflict such as Cain & Abel, Abraham & Lot, Saul & David, the Twelve Disciples, Paul and Barnabas, and Jews & Gentiles.
God made our brains unique. Part of it contains our emotions and memories. At times we may speak feelings before we think it through. We react to certain triggers in different ways:
#1: Move away. (flight, run – hide - numb) Romans 12:18 “If it is within your power, make peace with all people.
#2: Move against. (aggression or passive aggression such as sarcasm) Proverbs 6:16-19 Take note, there are six things the Eternal hates; no, make it seven He abhors Eyes that look down on others, a tongue that can’t be trusted, hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that conceives evil plans, feet that sprint toward evil, A false witness who breathes out lies, and anyone who stirs up trouble among the faithful.
When anger is directed against others, it may be as a result of a painful past or lack of trust. We have the power to overcome anger even when it is someone else’s fault.
Craig Groeschel: “…until there’s something you’re willing to die for, you can’t truly live.”
#3: Move toward. 1 Peter 3:10-11 “It is written in the psalms, if you love life and want to live a good, long time, then be careful what you say. Don’t tell lies spread gossip or talk about improper things. Walk away from the evil things in the world—just leave them behind, and do what is right, and always seek peace and pursue it.”
Matthew 18:15-17 tells us how to handle conflict in a godly way: “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. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
Jesus calls us to unity! Proverbs 26:20 When there is no wood, the fire goes out; when there is no one to spread gossip, arguing stops.