In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul had a conflict with Peter because Peter decided to exclude himself from some believers because they weren’t Jews. Paul confronted Peter to his face (v.11) because Peter was denying the power of Christ by fearing a group of people who believed that people needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul handles conflict by first being direct because he confronted Peter to his face. The second thing Paul did was to direct people back to Christ showing that Christ is the sufficient sacrifice for sin (v.15-19), and the gentiles should not be excluded because of Jewish ceremonial laws. So in essence Paul pointed out the sin and then pointed people back to Jesus. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ”( 1 Corinthians 11:1) and Christ tells us how to handle conflict in Matthew 18:15-17
“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.
There is a due process in confronting sin, and sadly this doesn’t happen much in the church. What usually happens is someone sees something they think is wrong, jumps to conclustions, gossip about it to other people, it spreads, and there is division in the church. Yet if church people would follow the command to do as the Scriptures says there would be more harmony in the body.
How I Handle Conflict
I don’t like conflict, I have a tendency to avoid it and allow myself to be walked over rather than speak up. It’s a struggle because of my codependent disposition. But I realize it’s not helpful for anyone, nor does it please God when the truth is trampled, and people remain in a trap because they fail to realize the freedom in Christ. This is an awakening and life-changing moment for me to realize that conflict is ” iron sharpening iron” and shouldn’t be avoided, but welcomed because that’s where growth takes place.