Resolving Conflicts

The methods Jesus used in resolving conflicts and those taught in the Old Testament seem to be at variance.  The Jewish traditions defined the resolution of conflicts in terms of equal reciprocity, i. e. an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  It clearly frowned on escalating the conflict with more severe measures than was originally meted out.

Before writing this message I took a tour through the Old Testament to see if there was any form of encouragement or command requiring a person to forgive his offender.  Although there were abundant references of God’s forgiveness of man, the only time forgiveness was specifically mentioned between persons was when Jacob pleaded with Joseph that he forgive his brothers.  There are illustrations of forgiveness such as Esau and his apparent forgiveness of Jacob.  I have had to conclude that forgiveness of others is primarily New Testament principle linked totally to and enabled by the redemptive work of the cross. Continue reading “Resolving Conflicts”

Rising Out of the Slough of Victim-hood

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Few people who suffer from victim tendencies would like to be free, mainly because of their inability to admit to themselves that their victim-hood is ultimately destructive in their lives or that it exists.   Consequently they are doomed to live out their lives without the freedom they could get from Christ or until they come to the place of realization.  Continue reading “Rising Out of the Slough of Victim-hood”

Responding Graciously

None of us can avoid or prevent conflicting situations with others all of time. There are many times we would much rather vent our anger toward others who have been offensive than to choose responsible and Godly behavior in its stead.

The world’s philosophy is to deal with such conflicts through retaliation with an “eye for an eye” type approach. That viewpoint was what Jesus was addressing when he said:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:38-42).

Continue reading “Responding Graciously”