PDF format is at: June 6, 2021 Bible Study
Conflict Resolution: Case # 3
Welcome and Announcements
The Conflict Background
Kyle and Nicole were engaged to be married in three months. For several years, Kyle had been working as a production manager in a company that produced specialized components for the heavy equipment industry. Business was booming. His boss offered to promote him to plant manager if he would agree to do whatever the boss asked him to do. The promotion meant a raise plus large bonuses. Kyle quickly agreed, thinking that the increased income would be great for a new marriage. He didn’t ask his boss what was meant by “do whatever the boss asked.”
Two weeks into his new position, his boss asked him again about his commitment. Kyle affirmed his agreement, apprehensive of where this was leading. The boss told him that two of the plant employees were older (early 60’s), and that meant that their seniority wages and health insurance were costing the company more expense than younger employees. In addition, they weren’t as energetic as the younger guys on the team. So, Kyle needed to begin documenting everything these two guys did wrong so that Kyle could justify firing them in the next 45 days. His boss promised to give him a bonus equaling 1/3 of the savings in annual health insurance costs, which would amount to a few thousand dollars.
Kyle’s heart sank. He respected both of the older workers, knowing that both men were solid workers. Their families were dependent upon their incomes. Kyle feared it would be difficult for them at their ages to find new jobs that paid as well. He regretted his promise to “do whatever” just to get the promotion, and he resented his boss for setting him up.
Kyle began to document, even exaggerate, the severity of the two men’s mistakes. He raised his voice with them whenever they slipped up, letting them know they were being written up. Guilt started to overcome him as a Christian. Their mistakes were no worse than others’ mistakes, including his own. He knew what he was doing was wrong – even evil. He was unable to sleep well at night. He became moody and snapped at Nicole for the smallest things. She asked him what was wrong, but Kyle was reluctant to tell her what was bugging him. In fact, he hadn’t told anyone. He felt trapped and began to fall into a depression. Nicole wondered if her fiancé was having second thoughts about the wedding.
These questions can apply to the above case study or to a current conflict from your personal life. For the case study, assume Kyle’s role. For a conflict from your life, apply these questions to yourself, writing out your answers.
Idols in this situation
1. Which of the following idols are you guilty of in this situation?
a. Improper desires for physical pleasure
b. Pride and arrogance
c. Love of money or material possessions
d. Fear of man
e. Good things that I want too much
2. Besides the individuals with whom you are in conflict, which others are being affected by your thoughts, words, or actions?
3. What is keeping you from confessing your sins against God before one of the following:
• Your pastor? • A mature Christian with whom you are not related but whom you trust? • A mature Christian with whom you are related and who loves you?
a. Pray that God will take away your fear of confessing before another person and give you courage.
b. If you continue to struggle with your guilt and yet are reluctant to confess to someone who will proclaim God’s forgiveness to you, seek out your pastor or a mature Christian for advice and encouragement.
4. Application of confession and hearing God’s forgiveness proclaimed to you:
• Make an appointment with your pastor or a mature Christian believer.
• Explain that you desire to confess your sin to God before another person so that you might audibly hear God’s forgiveness proclaimed to you by another Christian.
o If the person is not your pastor, ask for his or her commitment to keep what you confess confidential (pastors vow to keep private confession confidential).
o Tell the person that you have a simple form that will help guide you both.
• When you meet, you may give some background of the situation if helpful for you. But such background is not necessary for the person hearing your confession.
• Consider using the form Proclaiming God’s Forgiveness (pages 22-26 in this guide). Using that form, you can confess your sins to God, and the person hearing your confession can proclaim God’s forgiveness to you.
• Your confession may be general or it may include specifics. God knows more about your sin than you do, and He does not need details in order for Him to forgive. However, if a specific sin is troubling you, confessing that particular sin aloud will help you to “own” your sin. More importantly, when God’s forgiveness is proclaimed to you, it will help you to “own” the forgiveness, providing you with special comfort and assurance.
• Whether or not the form is used, be sure to request that the person hearing your confession specifically use Bible verses in proclaiming God’s forgiveness (e.g., see the verses listed on page 26 of this guide).
• Ask the person to pray for you