What Would Jesus Do Approach


Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Greatest Peacemaker

 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.   Ephesians 2:14-18  (NIV)

 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV)

Together (NLT)


Colossians 3: 14 -15

"Christians should live in peace.  To live in peace does not mean that suddenly all the differences of opinion are eliminated, but it does require that loving Christians work together despite their differences.  Such love is not a feeling but a decision to care for others' needs (see 1 Corinthians 13).  To live in love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers.  Do problems in your relationships with other Christians cause open conflicts or mutual silence?  Consider what you can do to heal those relationships with love."


Conflict (What does it entail?)

·       Anger

·       Fear

·       Tension

·       Yelling

·       Confusion

·       Stress

·       Hurt

·       Divorce

·       Etc, etc.


Possible results out of a Conflict

·       More intimacy if the conflict has been satisfactorily resolved

·       Big relief if good solution

·       Feeling of accomplishment

·       Sense of humility (I am not what I thought I was)

A Commitment to Biblical Conflict Resolution

The Peacemaker's Pledge

"As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict.  We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify Godserve other people, and grow to be like Christ."


Glorify God

"Instead of focusing on our own desires or dueling on what others may do, we will seek to please and honor God - by depending on his wisdom, power, and love; by faithfully obeying His commands; and by seeking to maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude."


Serve Others

Give human dignity to others.  "Instead of attacking others or dueling on their wrongs, we will take responsibility for our own contribution to conflict - confessing our sins and asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we had caused."

Grow to be like Christ

We need Christ in order to overcome conflict.




Understanding Yourself (Self analysis)

·       Worldview

·       Prejudices (what we learnt from our parents, peers and society)

·       Cultural influences


What are our assumptions

·       Cultural norms

·       Family norms

·       Awareness of ourselves


What Would Jesus Do?



When neither the relationship nor the issue is important the parties may choose to ignore the conflict or act as though nothing has happened.


When did Jesus avoid? 

John 7: 1-9 When Jesus avoided going to Judea.  He told his brothers in verse 8:  "You go on, I am not yet ready to go to this festival, because my time has not yet come."  Both the issue and the relationship were important but Jesus avoids because his time had not yet come.


One may also choose to "avoid" when you don't stand a chance.  It is also wise to "avoid" when emotions are running high.  When there is no achievement/nor relationship to save.



When the relationship is more important than the issue one party may choose to allow the other party to have their way.


When did Jesus Accommodate?

John 2: 1 - 12 The first miracle at Cana when Jesus ended up doing what his mother suggested to him to do.  In verse 4:  Jesus says that "his time" has not yet come, but he goes ahead and performs the miracle.  The "time" issue was not as important as the relationship at that time.



When the issue is more important than the relationship the two parties will continue to seek their way in a conflict.


When did Jesus compete?

John 2:13 -17 When Jesus clears the Temple.  In verse 16 Jesus tells the people who sold doves "Get these things out of here.  Don't turn my Father's house into a marketplace!"


When faced with a sinful situation, there is no compromise with sin.



One way to seek resolution to a conflict is that each party gains and loses some.  The issue is cut down in the middle.


When did Jesus compromise?

Matthew 17: 24 -27 Jesus accepts to pay the Temple tax. Verse 27:  However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line.  Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a coin.  Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us."  (This could on the other hand be an example of Jesus avoiding conflict.)



One resolution which places high value on relationship and the issue is to seek creative solutions which allow both parties to get what they need.


When did Jesus collaborate?

Matthew 27: 32 -44/Mark 15: 21- 32/ Luke 23: 26 - 43/ John 19: 17 - 24 The crucifixion.  The issue was important and the relationship to save us was important.



Look for opportunities presented by a specific conflict to:

·       Glorify God

·       Serve others/Give human dignity to others

·       Grow to be like Christ



Understand yourself first (self analysis)

Find out what is important to the other



Since the fall of man, we can expect conflicts to arise from any situation.  Conflict can be big or small and it affects all human beings.   Pray that God may reveal to us the right thing to do in each situation of conflict.



References and Further Reading: