Biblical Guide to Resolving ConflictWritten by Ken Sande
Conflict is inevitable. No relationship is immune. When managed biblically, conflict can serve as a catalyst for change and an opportunity for spiritual and relational growth. Why then are we afraid to tell our friend her words hurt us, to ask our boss for a raise, or to confront our family member about his drinking problem and its effect on his family?
According to Ken Sande, author of The Peacemaker—A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict and president of Peacemaker® Ministries, a ministry devoted to equipping and assisting Christians to respond to conflict biblically, the reason is clear. "Many believers and their churches have not yet developed the ability to respond to conflict in a gospel-cantered and biblically faithful manner," explains Sande. "When Christians become peacemakers, they can turn conflict into an opportunity to strengthen relationships and make their lives a testimony to the love and power of Jesus Christ."
What does a peacemaker look like?
"Peacemakers are people who breathe grace," says Sande. "They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and then they bring his love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life." 1
Do you naturally "breathe grace?" I don't. Yet, it is what God calls us to do. Not all of us are called to teach a Bible study, sing in the choir, or work with youth, but all of us are called to "go and be reconciled" (Matt. 5:24 NIV) to our brothers and sisters, our friends and family, and the people in our churches and community. God calls us all to be biblical peacemakers, to allow his redemptive, transforming love to spill over into our relationships.
God created us for relationship. Do not let unresolved conflict rob you of the joy that healthy relationships can bring. Invite God's Spirit to show you how to apply these biblical principles to your relationships. Then, "go and be reconciled" (Matthew 5:24 NIV) to your brother, sister, friend, and family members.
Ken Sande, The Peacemaker—A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, seventh printing, May 2007), 11. For more http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/relationship-challenges/conflict-resolution/a-biblical-guide-to-resolving-conflict