God’s word requires that Christians should strive earnestly to live at peace with one another (Matt. 5:9; John 17:20-23; Rom. 12:18; Eph. 4:1-3) and that when disputes arise, we should resolve them according to the principles set forth in Scripture (Pr. 19:11; Matt.5:23-25; 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Gal. 6:1). These commands and principles are obligatory on all Christians and absolutely essential for the well-being and work of the church and broader Christian community. Therefore, when we have a conflict with a fellow Christian or when we are concerned about the behavior of another person, we must attempt to resolve the matter as follows:
1. The offended or concerned person shall prayerfully examine himself and take responsibility for his contribution to a problem (Matt. 7:3-5), and he shall prayerfully seek to discern whether the offense is so serious that it cannot be overlooked (Pr. 19:11; 12:16; 15:18; 17:14; 20:3; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8).
2. If the offense is too serious to overlook, the offended or concerned person shall go, repeatedly if necessary, and talk to the offender in an effort to resolve the matter personally and privately, having first confessed his own wrongdoing (Matt. 18:15).
3. If the offender will not listen and if the problem is too serious to be overlooked, the offended or concerned person shall return with one or two other people who will attempt to help the parties resolve their differences (Matt.18:16); these other people may be members or officers of the church, other respected Christians in the community.