Have you ever said any of these phrases:
"I've got my rights!"
"I've been robbed!
That should've been mine!"
"I don't have to take that from you!"
"It's my way or the highway!"
Overused words of our overkill, me-ism society. I'm not being naive or blind. I know that at times we need either the law to protect us or have reason to complain, and occasionally the wrong must be exposed. But the way we go about it, the spirit with which we handle our conflicts, the attitudes we exhibit while working through the process of reconciliation are crucial. That's where our Christianity is hung out to dry. And that is where we have an opportunity to exhibit the astounding grace of God.
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight." ~ James 4:1,2
There's another way, that of a Peacemaker.
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." ~ Matthew 5:9
Four Principles of Peacemaking
2. Get Real About Yourself - Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye (Matthew 7:3-5) Take responsibility for your contribution to a conflict.Focus first on your own attitudes, words, and actions. Check your heart for any idols (desires turned into demands). Then confess your part humbly and thoroughly.
3. Gently Engage Others - Gently Restore (Galatians 6:1) Help others see how they have contributed to a conflict.It's important to overlook minor offenses. Everything doesn't need to be made out to be a conflict. But when you do go to the person, go with an attitude of love and concern for the other person. Talk privately first, and then if it's necessary, get help.
4. Get Together on Lasting Solutions - Go and Be Reconciled (Matthew 5:23,24) The goal is to strengthen relationships through genuine reconciliation and agreement.Look out for the interests of others. Forgive the same way you have been forgiven. Keep doing what is right, regardless of what the other person does.
Our neighbors, friends, family, and colleagues are watching and they're fast to criticize Christians. Sometimes rightfully so. Let's strive to demonstrate to the watching world the Gospel of Peace in action.
For more information on restoring relationships and resolving conflict, visit http://www.peacemaker.net