EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. One of the most wonderful things about the Bible is that it contains answers to just about any question a person can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help guide us toward what is best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was literally sent here to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).
This is a new blog series that will give practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve problems in your daily life. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Olivia's answer to the following question.
—Cat, 412teens Editor
Group projects can often be the worst, especially when you have difficult people to work with. However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles to make sure you reach your full potential. Jesus outlines how to deal with conflict in Matthew 18:15-17, and we are going to use His method as a guide. (Take a moment to read those verses if you aren't familiar with them.)
Firstly, check yourself. Are you are doing what YOU are supposed to be doing? It can be easy to assume the everyone else is the problem, but sometimes when we really look at reality, WE might be the ones making things difficult for someone else. Evaluate your own performance and make sure that you are being a good, productive teammate (Proverbs 13:4; Colossians 3:23).
Next, discuss the problem as a group. Sometimes people won't contribute unless they are 100% sure what they are supposed to do. Perhaps you just need to sit down and lay out exactly what each member is responsible for. Set clear deadlines and communicate regularly. People naturally like to feel needed, so make sure everybody feels like an important asset to the team (Ephesians 4:29).
We need to be thoughtful and respectful about how we communicate with others. James 1:19 says we should "be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." Proverbs 15:1 tells us that "a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Psalm 141:3 is a plea with God to "keep watch over the door of my lips!" because we sometimes say things we will soon regret. Don't be that person, but rather be the one who builds up your fellow students.
I assume that you are working on a group project for school, so there should be a teacher involved. If the problem persists with certain group members, and they are not responsive to you communicating with them, then it's time to let your teacher know. They are probably used to having a few students who are uncooperative when it comes to these things, and they will probably be able to help.
Some teachers will allow group project members to evaluate how much each member contributed and rate the quality of their work at the end of the project. If this is the case for you, be sure to be kind but also honest with how you feel your team members performed (Proverbs 19:1; 1 Peter 3:10-12).
God calls us to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). While this group project isn't the biggest deal in the world, it matters to God how you handle it. I encourage you to pray about your next steps and ways you can help resolve this conflict (James 1:5).
Have you ever had to deal with difficult group project members in a class? What happened? What did you do? How did you decide to resolve the issues? What was the result of your actions? What is another biblical principle that would work in this situation? Share your story in the comments below!
Olivia is currently a college student majoring in marketing and working multiple jobs. She's been following Jesus for several years now, and thinks it is the greatest adventure. When she's not participating in school or work or answering questions for Got Questions, she enjoys listening to podcasts, tinkering on her computer, and spending quality time with her cats.