We’re almost finished with our series “Conflicted?” which deals with Conflict Resolution God’s way. Most of what we’ve been talking about has been taken from or adapted from Peacemaker’s Ministries, check out their website for more information. This past week we looked at the “Four G’s” of peacemaking
1. Glorify God
- “Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love, as we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude”
- “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:3-6)
- What’s your greatest desire? Do you desire to Glorify God or avoiding conflict more? Do you desire Glorifying God more than restoring your friendship? Obviously, restoring friendships is glorifying to God – but keep these two desires (glorifying God and healing relationships) in the right order, or else you could begin to fake peace.
2. Get the log out of your own eye first
- “Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction we will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts – confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused.”
- “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3–5)
- Admit your share of the guilt FIRST… then address the conflict in order to resolve it (not simply to prove yourself right).
3. Gently restore
- “Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ (the Church) to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.”
- “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1–3)
- Do it the right way… PRIVATELY! Don’t set the other person up to be the “bad guy.” Remember the goal: Restored relationships (NOT for you to be “right”). Don’t make the other person’s burden heavier by arguing with them – help them carry their load…
4. Go be reconciled
- “Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation – forgiving others as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgive us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.”
- “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.” (Matthew 5:23–24)
- Sometimes people in church talk about forgiveness like it’s easy… but it’s not! Here’s my test for whether or not I’ve actually forgiven someone (or if I’m trying to fool myself into thinking I’ve forgiven them): If something good happens to that person, am I sincerely happy for them (and if something bad happens to the person, do I sincerely grieve with them)?