There are two words in our vocabulary that carry very negative connotations: conflict and confrontation. Now, with few exceptions, most of us don’t like conflict. But we are going to learn from Jesus that neither conflict nor confrontation has to be negative. God can use conflict as an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ, to bear witness to the Gospel, and to teach other people how to work out their differences. The negativity comes in when the conflict is unresolved and the confrontation that is needed never takes place. The reality is that there are no problems too big to solve, only people too little to solve them. If we would just follow the simple instructions Jesus gave, we could defrost cold marriages, resurrect dead friendships, and restore broken relationships quicker than we could ever imagine.
The truth of the matter is, most of us have some type of baggage we carry around with us all the time that we need to lose. This baggage weighs down our relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. It all too often destroys marriages, dissolves friendships, and damages our ability to relate properly to God. But the encouraging news for those of us who are tired of carrying it around is that we can lose our baggage. And not only can we lose our baggage, but we should lose our baggage. As followers of Jesus, we have been called to a higher standard in our relationships with others. We have a witness to maintain. We have a reputation to guard, because we don’t just represent ourselves; we represent the Lord. So, if we are going to represent Him well, we must take the necessary steps to lose our relational baggage.