Sunday 10th August 2014

Last Monday Peter Adcock and I attended a ‘Personal Peacemaking’ workshop run by Peacewise. The motivation behind this organisation is that in light of our God-given differences, conflict is a normal part of daily life. Dealing with conflict, however, is something many people find difficult. We can run from or deny a problem, or at the other extreme go into attack mode. When conflict is not truly dealt with, relationships are broken and we are not able to love our neighbor as God intended. Using the principles outlined by Ken Sande in his book The Peacemaker, it was suggested that there is a biblical approach to resolving conflict that every Christian should take note of. This is a response that sees conflict as an opportunity, rather than a problem. The approach draws us away from a starting point that sees the other person as the problem, and instead focuses on God, me, you, and ‘us’ (in that order). These four peacemaking principles can be summarised as:

  1. Glorify God
  2. Get the log out of your own eye
  3. Gently restore
  4. Go and be reconciled

Many tensions in our relationships, whether small or ongoing, could be avoided or resolved if we were to follow these principles.

A copy of the short book ‘Resolving Everyday Conflict’ is now available in the church library and I would encourage every Christian to at some point take note of its content. The book is a summary of the peacemaking principles and includes other helpful practices such as the ‘Seven A’s of Apology & Confession’. It also offers some wisdom on the difficult business of dealing with forgiveness.

May God continue to give you strength and wisdom as you face the conflicts this week brings, and intentionally work to build and restore your relationships with others.

Rev Matthew Carratt