Biblical Principles    –  Shalom 

Jesus has given the Church primary responsibility and authority for resolving conflict among Christians, and says we each should initiate the process of reconciliation. It is for us individually to take the first step, and Jesus describes a process involving private discussions, forgiveness, mediation, and the use of authority to make a binding decision to settle disputes.
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.   But if he will not listen, take one or two others along so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two/three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church … I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:15-20).
Jesus commands us to seek reconciliation with someone we have wronged or offended, even ahead of public worship: “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. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way.” (Matthew 5:23-25).
This command is not conditional on how serious the other person’s complaint might be, or whether it is even justified. Even in difficult circumstances the Bible instructs us to make every effort to resolve personal differences outside the courtroom.
It is important for a Christian to resolve disputes privately or by mediation or arbitration to prevent the dispute becoming public and thereby giving others opportunity to criticise and mock Christianity. Resolving conflict biblically enables us to demonstrate through our actions that we genuinely believe in Jesus Christ and trust in his teachings. (See John 13:34; 14-15; 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-3).
The starting-point, therefore, is that disputes between Christians should be resolved between Christians. As regards non-Christians, the Bible tells us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18).
There are times when litigation may be appropriate for a Christian, because God has allowed secular courts authority to enforce the laws of the land and restrain crime (Romans 13:1-7). This means criminal acts, constitutional questions, and a variety of other disputes may legitimately be resolved through litigation.
However, where disputes include personal differences between Christians, they should attempt to resolve the problem in a personal way before seeking redress through the courts.