The Bible’s View on Fighting: How To Handle Conflict

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 1st November 2023

Conflict word from wooden blocks
Conflict word from wooden blocks | Piotrekswat via iStock

In this complex world we inhabit, one undeniable reality prevails: conflict and strife are deeply woven into the fabric of the human experience.

As devoted followers of Christ, it is our paramount responsibility to navigate these turbulent waters with a godly approach..

Our existence unfolds within a cosmos tainted by the consequences of the fall, our own natures bearing the marks of this tarnished reality.

It is this inherent brokenness that sets the stage for conflict to emerge at every turn of human interaction, from the most intimate relationships to the grand stage of global politics.

Conflict looms within the sanctuary of our homes, the corridors of our educational institutions, and the bustling environment of our workplaces, manifesting in various shades of intensity.

While some conflicts may appear trivial, others possess the alarming potential to set nations on a collision course toward war.

Evading conflict proves futile, but as devout Christians, we possess the power to choose our response when confronted with discord.

The art of managing conflict with a godly spirit is not merely a means to navigate through these tumultuous waters; it represents a critical opportunity for personal growth and maturity, allowing us to radiate the boundless love of God to those around us.

Hand stopping wooden domino crisis effect
Hand stopping wooden domino crisis effect | marchmeena29 via iStock

Embrace the challenge, for it is through the crucible of conflict that our faith is refined, our character strengthened, and our ability to reflect the beauty of God’s love deepened.

Let us rise above the chaos, standing as beacons of hope and agents of reconciliation in a world longing for peace.

What the Bible says about Conflict

Throughout the course of history, conflicts have been intricately woven into the very essence of our existence since the beginning of humankind’s fall.

We can trace back to the earliest accounts within the Bible, where the tragic story of Cain and Abel serves as a poignant reminder that discord can arise from various sources.

In the case of Cain, the toxic seed of envy led to the ultimate betrayal, culminating in the heart-wrenching fratricide of his own brother.

Cain slaying Abel
Cain slaying Abel | Peter Paul Rubens via Wikipedia Public Domain

In his profound letter, James delves into the root causes of quarrels and disputes, exploring the incessant turmoil that arises from conflicting human desires.

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your own desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill” (James 4:1-2, NIV).

These timeless words shed light on the inner struggles that often escalate into conflicts.

A thorough examination of the biblical narrative reveals the origin of conflict in the aftermath of humanity’s initial transgression.

God’s words to Eve in the garden reverberate through the ages, foreshadowing the discordant dynamics between man and woman: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16, NIV).

Thus, conflict became an inherent part of the divine curse following Adam and Eve’s disobedience, tarnishing the purity of human relationships.

Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit
Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit | Pict Rider via iStock

This fateful descent into conflict marked a downward spiral for humanity.

However, the Bible does not leave us adrift in the tumultuous sea of discord.

It offers guidance on navigating conflicts with grace and godliness.

Through various verses, the Scriptures illuminate the significance of seeking peace and reconciliation, providing a roadmap for handling conflicts in a manner befitting followers of Christ.

Despite the enduring presence of conflicts in our lives, the Word of God stands as a guiding light, illuminating the path toward resolution and peace in alignment with the teachings of Christ.

Let us embrace this divine wisdom as we strive for harmony in a world marked by discord.

The Dangers of Unrighteous Anger

Anger, as a human emotion, exists in a realm beyond absolutes of good and evil. It simply is—an emotion.

Angry man screaming in extreme rage
Angry man screaming in extreme rage | dundanim via iStock

Consider the wisdom of Ephesians 4:26, which urges us to navigate anger without succumbing to its pitfalls: “In your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26, NIV).

However, when unrighteous anger takes hold, conflicts inevitably arise, leading to detrimental consequences.

Unbridled anger can have adverse effects on both individuals and society.

Personally, unchecked anger fosters impulsive and destructive behaviors, such as verbal or physical aggression, which can fracture relationships and cause harm to others.

Moreover, it exacts a toll on the individual, leading to heightened stress, anxiety, and even depression, resulting in profound emotional and physical distress.

On a broader societal scale, mismanaged anger contributes to the perpetuation of a culture rife with conflict and violence.

It sows seeds of discord and division, fostering an environment characterized by mistrust and misunderstandings that only serve to exacerbate existing conflicts within the community.

Recognizing the normalcy of experiencing anger, it becomes imperative to discern healthy and appropriate expressions of this emotion within specific contexts.

Equally vital is acquiring skills for managing anger in constructive and beneficial ways, preventing it from dictating our actions and behaviors.

Psychological therapy session
Psychological therapy session | Lourdes Balduque via GettyImages

Engaging with mental health professionals or acquiring techniques for emotional management and conflict resolution stands as a crucial step towards fostering a healthier relationship with anger.

Together, let us strive to understand and harness the power of anger, channeling it towards positive change and personal growth.

Practical Ways to Handle Conflict in a Godly Manner

The Scriptures contain eternal wisdom, offering guidance on how to navigate conflicts with grace and godliness.

When confronted with disputes or disagreements, we can embrace practical steps that lead to peaceful resolutions.

Let us explore tangible ways to approach conflict resolution in a manner that reflects godly principles:

Pray for wisdom and guidance

A man praying holding his hands together
A man praying holding his hands together | Khanchit Khirisutchalual via iStock

When faced with conflicts, seeking God’s help becomes vital for gaining perspective and approaching the situation with love and openness.

Trying to manage conflicts independently often leads to further complications.

As a Christian with a renewed heart, it is imperative to rely on God rather than solely on personal strength.

Engaging in prayer provides a moment for introspection, allowing us to seek God’s guidance in understanding our own shortcomings.

It presents an opportunity for self-reflection, encouraging us to confess our sins and pursue clarity through divine guidance.

Through prayer, we find solace in the assurance that God’s wisdom and grace are readily available, providing the necessary guidance and peace in tumultuous times.

Let us embrace the power of prayer and experience its transformative impact on our lives.

Seek to understand the other person’s perspective

Concept illustration of two overlapping heads, looking through each other, with one shared eye
Concept illustration of two overlapping heads, looking through each other, with one shared eye | Topuria Design via iStock

In the midst of conflict, it is crucial to acknowledge the diverse range of perspectives at play.

Rather than succumbing to the temptation of blame and self-righteousness, it is essential to adopt a Godly approach that necessitates setting aside personal biases.

Active listening and empathizing with the concerns of the other party are vital components of conflict resolution.

This entails making a genuine effort to comprehend their point of view, fostering a spirit of understanding and cooperation.

By recognizing and appreciating different perspectives, we can pave the way for constructive dialogue and cultivate an environment of mutual respect and empathy.

Let us strive for engaging conversations that lead to meaningful resolutions!

Communicate openly and honestly

Group with hands together
Group with hands together | urbancow via iStock

Effective conflict resolution relies on open communication as the cornerstone.

Respectful expression of thoughts and emotions takes center stage, while gossiping about those we clash with only exacerbates the situation and erodes trust.

Confronting the issue directly through honest dialogue is crucial for swift resolution.

Let us remember Proverbs 11:13, which warns against the damaging impact of gossip and emphasizes the importance of confidentiality and integrity.

By upholding these principles, we foster an atmosphere of trust and integrity, paving the way for effective conflict resolution.

Together, let us strive for harmonious resolutions.

Seek to resolve the conflict rather than winning the argument

Cutting away the "dis" from disagreement
Cutting away the “dis” from disagreement | blueshot via iStock

The temptation to engage in arguments solely for the sake of proving a point can be alluring.

However, succumbing to this temptation often exacerbates the situation.

A more effective approach would be to prioritize the search for solutions that address the needs and concerns of all parties involved.

By shifting our focus towards collaborative problem-solving instead of assertive debating, we can amicably resolve conflicts and foster mutual understanding and harmony.

Let us choose cooperation over confrontation, for it is through cooperation that we can truly thrive.

Practice forgiveness

Two people holding hands as a sign of forgiveness
Two people holding hands as a sign of forgiveness | PeopleImages via iStock

Solomon’s wisdom, timeless and profound, resonates as it illuminates the immense power of forgiveness in nurturing relationships.

Proverbs 17:9 offers sage advice, reminding us that forgiveness breathes life into friendships while dwelling on wrongs can shatter them.

Letting go of offenses may feel daunting, particularly when they come from trusted individuals such as friends, colleagues, or loved ones.

However, as we strive to handle conflicts with divine wisdom, it becomes imperative to release any lingering resentment or bitterness and instead embrace grace and forgiveness.

In doing so, we reflect the same compassion that has been generously bestowed upon us by the divine.

Let forgiveness serve as our guiding light, guiding us towards deeper connections and lasting harmony.

Seek outside help if needed

Man giving a helping hand to woman in need
Man giving a helping hand to woman in need | kieferpix via iStock

When faced with seemingly insurmountable conflicts, it becomes imperative to seek the assistance of a mediator or counselor.

Drawing inspiration from the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 18:15-17, we are reminded of the importance of initially addressing grievances privately.

Should this step prove ineffective, involving a select few individuals can lend credibility to the situation.

And if all else fails, the engagement of the community can provide clarity and facilitate resolution.

These words underscore the significance of actively pursuing reconciliation while embracing the guidance and support of others along the journey.

Let us aspire to achieve peaceful resolutions collectively!


Conflicts can arise unexpectedly, even among those who deeply follow Christ.

In such times, we find solace in the wisdom of Paul: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

These profound words remind us of the paramount importance of actively pursuing peace and harmony in our relationships, truly embodying the teachings of Christ.

Resolving conflicts in a godly manner necessitates patience, kindness, and a genuine willingness to prioritize the needs of others above our own.

Though the journey may be challenging, let us remember that with God’s guidance and grace, conflicts can be resolved in ways that foster understanding, healing, and reconciliation.

Equipped with the understanding of how to navigate conflict in a godly way, let these principles permeate your heart and guide you through life’s most demanding moments.

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