I also notice that there are some of you who have a very painful history. I don`t want to minimize the pain you`ve experienced in abusive relationships. What Jesus asks for in this passage is not easy and can ask for professional help to achieve it. But Jesus is clear. Conflicts need to be dealt with quickly. In verse 23-24, it even implies that conflict resolution is even more important than worship – to the point that if you are in the midst of divine service and you remember that your brother has something against you, you must leave divine service, be reconciled with your brother and then return to divine service. Is it possible that God does not even accept our worship until we have done everything right with our brothers and sisters? This is what this passage seems to say, and passages like 1 John 4:20 support it: “If someone says, “I love God,” but his brother hates, then he is a liar. For he who hates his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. I think there is biblical wisdom in this practice. Nehemiah spoke to herself and understood how to react. He no doubt thought of the mosaic laws that broke the nobles and some of the proverbs on which Solomon wrote how to deal with anger so that he could react wisely. He thought it was the smartest approach.
Unfortunately, we see in today`s culture that all age groups, from children to older adults, are not able to participate in debates and disagreements without attacking each other verbally and sometimes physically. When you`re like me, you don`t know anyone who likes conflict. We see conflicts when there is disagreement, misunderstanding or simply miscommunication. Meanwhile, we must refer to biblical verses about conflict! In your small groups, it is likely that discussions will take place where people do not agree. Passions will ignite and debates can erupt. All of this is a good thing. We want members of our groups to struggle with the truths of the Bible and do so together. When we talk about issues that fall within our doctrinal consensus as a Church, but there are differences on certain points, we must learn to discuss them properly. Your political groups may have already had one or more such discussions, in which interpretations have been called into question.
Let me give you some advice on how to deal with these discussions and differences. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Similarly, we see a good example of how conflicts are not neglected at the beginning of the Church.