Relational Landmines :: Conflict Avoidance

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Sunday, July 31st

Conflict is hard, whether it’s in our families, with friends, in the work place or even at church. When relationships become battered, it’s challenging to address it and bring healing. It seems like our natural instincts lead us to all sorts of actions that don’t help on the road to reconciliation. Fortunately, God is committed to healing relationships, and Jesus is a constant guide towards forgiveness.

Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. What is your natural reaction to conflict, and why do you think you react to it the way you do?
  2. Have you ever lost a relationship due to mishandled conflict? What happened, and what would you do differently if you could rewind the clock?
  3. Read Matthew 5:21-22. What is your initial reaction to Jesus words in these verses? Why do you think he speaks so strongly about holding anger against another person?
  4. Read Matthew 5:23-24. How do you think Jesus reacts to us continually going through the motions at church if we have unresolved conflict? Do you see this affecting your ability to relate to God currently?
  5. Read Matthew 18:15-16. What inhibits you from going straight to the person who hurt you to work it out? How can you better practice resolving conflict the way Jesus instructs us in this passage?
  6. In the process of resolving conflict, why is it so important to make observations rather than accusations as you present your issue to the other person? How can you improve this?
  7. Is there anyone in your life that you need to ask, “Are we okay?” How could you set this conversation up this week?


Matthew 5:21-22 — You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:23-24 — Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 18:15-16 — If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him — work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again.


If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!


Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.

Spiritual Outcomes — Relationally Engaged & Peacemaker

Jesus prayer in John 17 was for the unity, the oneness, of His followers. Jesus was not naive to the challenges we would face and how our unity would be challenged time and time again, but this did not prevent him from asking for it.

  • Learn more about overcoming relational landmines to work towards unity by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.

Jesus said that “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Peace often seems in short supply in our world and country, but this is also often true in our local communities, workplaces and even our homes. How can we as Christ-followers love where we live?

  • Learn more about overcoming relational landmines to work towards peace by working through the PEACEMAKER outcome.