Relationships have conflicts. I am not sure why we are surprised when they do. Conflict all began after sin came into the world, Cain and Abel. Christ disagreed with Peter. He did not kick Peter out even though Satan had influenced Peter to tell Christ He would not die (Matthew 16:21-33), and it is not like this is the only time they disagreed (Luke 22:24-33). Christ still had Peter teach at Pentecost rather than any other disciples. Moses had a conflict with his sister Miriam, and Paul and Barnabas disagreed with John Mark. Christ tells us that marriage will have trouble. Still, in only specific conditions, He allows us to be divorced (1 Corinthians 7:28), and if husbands, even amid conflict, do not treat their wives well, there are consequences (Malachi 2:13-16; 1 Peter 3:7).

The issue is not whether we will have conflict; the question is how we get through it. Paul, who experienced many trials as God told him he would (Acts 9:15-16), teaches us many fundamental principles we must practice. Some of these principles are taught in Philippians 2:1-6. We must commit to allowing the Holy Spirit, our peace, to grow in us as we willingly submit our lives to God daily (John 14:16, 26-27; 15:1-11). When we do, the Holy Spirit guides us to fall in love with God as we keep His commandments (John 14:15, 24). The Spirit teaches us to know good and evil (Hebrews 4:11), He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26), and provides us wisdom (Philippians 1:9-11) as we obey God so that all things work out for good (Romans 8:28). This process is the same for all believers, so spiritual maturity leads to oneness because we are all growing in one Spirit. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8; NIV) “But if anyone obeys His Word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.” (1 John 2:5; NIV) This is the foundation upon which conflicts are resolved, and as Philippians 2:1-6 (“if any fellowship of the Spirit”) explains, this leads to one-mindedness.  

To be of one mind means the Word of the Lord rules. It becomes the best referee (Colossians 3:15-16). When we have differing opinions that do not violate God’s Word, we must learn to respect one another’s opinions (Romans 14).

Forgiveness is vital as well because no one is perfect. We can forgive when we learn that God will not forgive us when we do not forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:12-14).