How To Handle Conflict Like Clint Eastwood and Stay Biblical

by Kevin on February 21, 2011

In the great western movie “Unforgiven”, Clint Eastwood’s character becomes a little bit upset that his partner has been killed by an outlaw gang masquerading as law enforcement. What we learn from that is how to deal with conflict biblically and it seems to be straight out of a western movie.

When William Munney (Clint Eastwood) finds out that his partner, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), has been killed and that his body is on the front porch of the saloon for everyone to see, he goes biblical on them.

Biblical?

Yeah, now I don’t mean all the shootin’ and stuff that happens at the end of the movie, but I’m talkin’ about how he handles it.

Will doesn’t go talk to his friends about it. He doesn’t discuss his problem with the grocery store checker. He doesn’t call half of his old school buddies to see if they think he is wrong or right. And he most certainly doesn’t post it on Facebook. (I want to throw up when I see the pure cowardice of a self professed Christian posting something bad about someone on a wall post.)

Will goes straight to the people that has offended him and he gets it straight. Now, this is about as far as the show goes with my biblical analogy, but it’s far enough. The Bible says that when someone offends you, you go talk to them man to man.

I must say right here that by offending you, the Bible means that someone has truly sinned against you. You can’t go around going “William Munney” on everyone because they don’t like John Wayne and have no idea who Trigger is and you are highly offended.

If the person has sinned against you and you talk to them, nine out of ten times the situation will be cleared up right then. If it’s not cleared up, then you take a friend with you to talk to them again.

If it comes down to it and both attempts have failed to solve the problem, then you take the situation to the church (meaning a pastor or other church leader, not standing up at the pot luck dinner and airing all your dirty laundry to everyone).

I’m going to give you the scripture, not in black and white, but in red.

15 “If a cowboy that works for me does something to you that is against one of my rules (not yours), be a man and go talk to him about it. Let it be just between the two of you. Don’t go round up all your buddies or even tell them what you’re doin’. If he listens to you, y’all will be able to ride together. 16 If he won’t listen to you, go ahead and take another cowboy along so that neither side will be able to accuse the other of something that was said. 17 If he still refuses to listen, take it to the men leadin’ your crew. If he even refuses to listen to the cowboys I have chosen to be in charge of my outfit, just run him off. Treat him like you would a trespasser and get him off my place.”

18 “Whatever that crew decides is what will happen. The Boss will back them up!!” Matthew 18:15-18 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

This only applies to Christians!!!

We get that mixed up sometimes. This account of how to handle conflict is between Christians only. If the person that offends you is not a Christian, how in the world is the church goin’ to “deal” with him?

If someone that isn’t a Christian sins against you, pray for them!! What did you expect? They’re lost. They don’t know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They don’t love their neighbors as themselves. God isn’t the most important thing in their lives.

Grow up and grow a backbone!!

It’s hard to go talk to someone about a problem. But we need to grow a pair, grow a backbone, or whatever words get you moving. A fellow Christian sins against you? Go talk to them. A lost soul sins against you? Pray for ’em.

Quit bein’ a sissy and feelin’ sorry for yourself. Do what Jesus told you to, and understand, the hard part is still to come. What’s that you ask?

Regardless of everything, no matter if they repent, the prayer for the lost person works or it doesn’t, no matter what happens, the end result is that you forgive the person that trespasses against you–Christian or not.

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  • Now there’s a way to look at it! I’m a really big proponent of this particular issue especially since it has happened that on more than one occasion I’ve sinned against people (although I’m not entirely sure what exactly it was that I did) and then had that person do just about everything except come to me and say “hey man, not cool.” This has ruined more friendships in my life than just about anything. Not only that, but I’ve also seen it tear other people apart.

    Straight up man! “Grow up and grow a backbone”!

    • Kevin

      I think the great thing about this passage is it forces us to make a choice. Are we really that offended that we go confront someone? Or maybe we’re just a little bit butt hurt and feelin’ sorry for ourselves. If I don’t want to go talk to them, then I get to forgive and forget. If I can’t do that, then I need to go get things straight.

      This old world would be a better place if everyone, including me, would follow this passage to a “T”.

  • Greg Box

    Amen Brother! Now that’s Real and Authentic! Great Stuff, Thank You!

    Blessings,

    Greg

    • Kevin

      Same to you Greg! Who says Christianity is for weaklings? lol

  • If people are offended by your post, then scripture offends them! It’s the truth, and the way we ought to behave when we have issues with a brother or sister. Thanks for being willing to give us the straight poop, Kevin!

    • Kevin

      Thanks Carl…sometimes you just can’t sugar coat things.

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  • Jason Huffman

    Great post Kevin! A couple weeks ago a friend told me I’d offended him. While I thought it was kind of petty, I was glad we settled it “man to man”. Then this weekend shared with me how that guy had “bragged to him about chewing me out.” I’m sick of all the backbiting. We all just need to “man up”!

    • Kevin

      Sounds like a coward to me. The ultimate outcome of Matthew 18’s message is forgiveness and/or repentence, not bragging about chewin’ somebody out.

  • Kristin

    Yeah Bro. Kevin it is bad when people are offended by scripture. I’ve heard my pastor say several times that if his sermons ever offends someone then he knows that he is preaching what God wanted the offended person to hear. As for the people that unsubscribed from you it is their loss. Hope you are having a great week.

    • Kevin

      My week is getting much better Kristin. It’s a vast improvement from nearly losing my dad a week ago and our foster daughter leaving for another home a week ago today.

      I feel the same as your pastor does. If someone isn’t being convicted (toes hurting), then I’m probably not doing a very good job. I don’t intend to make cowboys mad, but I do want to push them and challenge them in their ride with Jesus.

  • Jeremy Deal

    Kevin,

    This is the best blog post to date. Straight and to the point. It would be a better place if others followed this passage to a “T”. I for one have been on both sides of this before and I can relate.

    Your right about wrongful posts on another’s wall. Not very Christian like. It’s always best to just go straight to the person and no need for rounding up the posse and gettin’ others involved that don’t belong.

    • Kevin

      You know Jeremy, the sad part is that most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. They don’t realize how much they talk bad about others or how their view of the world is only seen through the opinion of their eyes.

  • What an offensive jerk you are. My friends will be hearing about this, buster!
    (and i’ll bet you bust sod too, dontcha!?!)

    • Kevin

      I’ll meet you at high noon tomorrow city slicker!!

      • Yeah, there behind the trough.
        And bring ALL yer little dowgies….pard.

        • Kevin

          I’m gonna shoot left handed and use a BB gun, just to make it fair.

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