Conflict management can take on many forms. Read John 8:48-59.
As His public ministry was nearing an end, the conflicts between Jesus and the Pharisees became more frequent and more divisive. In today’s scriptures the words exchanged between Jesus and the Pharisees were very pointed as Jesus stood toe-to-toe with those who desired to discredit Him.
Effective leaders handle conflicts personally, privately and with the spirit of forgiveness. Read Luke 17:3-10.
Jesus, knowing His disciples would soon have major leadership roles, continually taught principles that would make them more effective leaders. When He told them they should forgive a person who had wronged them, even if they wronged them seven times, as long as that person returned and ask for forgiveness, His disciples’ first thought was this may be too much and they would need more faith to accomplish the task. Jesus simply told His team their faith was sufficient and conflict resolution and forgiveness was part of a leader’s everyday job. Jesus was clear that a leader should not expect praise for doing what was an expected part of their leadership role.
We know little about the author of the book of Mark or as he was also known, John Mark. Our first introduction (at least according to many Bible experts) shows him as part of the group at the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was taken captive the night before His crucifixion. Not a real flattering moment for Mark. The next time we meet him he is accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Again, not all that flattering for Mark because for some unexplained reason Mark leaves his friends and returns to Jerusalem. This act created such tension that Paul refused to allow Mark to accompany him on his second missionary journey explaining “…he had deserted them.” Mark’s beginnings didn’t show much promise that he would be a major contributor to the faith.
Do you find it difficult to restrain yourself from using your authority in stressful situations? (197-1)
Effective leaders practice restraint when using their power and influence. Read Matthew 26:57-68.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had finally had enough of His public statements pointing out their outright disobedience to the spirit of God’s laws for governing the people. Jesus was arrested and brought before the religious Supreme Court called the Sanhedrin. Even though Jesus had the power to call down legions of angels as His character witnesses or for His protection He endured the false accusations and attacks because He knew His Father was in control of the situation (1 Peter 2:23). Jesus restrained the use of His power, trusting God to bring justice as it fit into His perfect plan.
Do you avoid dealing with conflict until you must enter the situation to keep a disaster from happening? (194-5)
One thing is certain: Every leader will face relational conflicts. People may disagree because they have conflicting personalities or different agendas but they will disagree. Any leader that tries to avoid dealing with relational conflicts will only add to the problem. During the mentoring process for His disciples Jesus addressed the topic. There may be no clearer passage in the Gospels on conflict resolution than Matthew 18. When Jesus addressed the problem He tackled it head on.