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The verse that comes first to my mind in response to the question is Romans 12:18 ("If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.") This verse recognizes the fact that conflict may occur (even among Christians) but tells Christians to strive for the avoidance of it, and (in cases where it does occur) for the resolution of it. It also acknowledges that we can't control the feelings or actions of others, but calls on us to do what we can in maintaining mutual peace. I would also say that this verse does not prohibit Christians from rebuking or opposing deliberate attempts to promote hostility, but, even then, maintaining a spirit of humility and (as Paul said in Ephesians 4:15) speaking the truth in love. Christians are also not to hold on to conflict, or bear grudges or seek to retaliate because of it, but to forgive those with whom they have disagreed in the same way that they themselves have been forgiven by God (Matthew 6:14; Romans 12:17-20; Ephesians 4:32).
The Bible has much to say about conflict: Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Romans 12:18, 21 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; Though we may “pursue peace with all people” (Heb. 12:14), it sometimes escapes us. Some oppose us because we stand for Jesus. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Sometimes we conflict because of egotistical desires (Jas. 4:1-3) or divine discipline (1 Kings 11:14). But conflict sometimes comes simply because we’re sinners living in a fallen world. At such times, God’s way calls for effort, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16:7).
The bible makes it clear that conflict is everywhere and inevitable, because of the corrupt and perverted world we live in, caused by sin. Hardly a chapter in the Old Testament does not resound with conflict. Conflict between the Jewish religion and the Christian faith fills nearly every page of the New Testament. In the midst of all this, God counsels us to be peacemakers, to avoid creating conflict, if at all possible. However, we are not to shy away from speaking the truth, with love and respect. Jesus avoided conflict with the Roman authorities, even though they were hated by the Jewish people. However, Jesus created conflict with the Jewish religious leaders by speaking the truth about their religious hypocrisy, abuse of power and leading the people away from faith in God. His seven woes spoken to the teachers of the law and Pharisees blasted them for their hypocrisy and wickedness (Matthew 23:1-39). Jesus constantly exposed the sins of the Jewish religious leaders and called them to repentance. They refused and plotted his murder instead. The apostle James gives us a lot of practical advice on handling conflict in his epistle letter: 1. Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2) [hard to be joyful and argue at the same time] 2. If any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault (James 1:5) [God has a peaceful solution] 3. The rich should take pride in their humiliation... they will fade away while they go about their business (James 1:10-11) [hard to argue with a humble person] 4. Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed, desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and sin when full grown gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15) [don't fuel the evil desire] 5. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19) [most conflict arises from misunderstandings caused by failing to listen] 6. If you really keep the royal law found in scripture, "Love your neighbour as yourself", you are doing right. But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the Law, as lawbreakers. (James 2:8-9) [consider everyone more important than us] 7. The tongue is a small part of the body but makes great boasts...the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell... no human being can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.... with it we curse human beings who have been made in God's likeness (James 3:5-9) [hold our tongue] 8. The wisdom that comes from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:17-18). [keep the peace] We often initiate conflict because we are seeking to gratify our sinful desires and the weapon we fight with is often our tongue.
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