When it comes to handling conflict, I can identify with the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” The problem could not be more clearly defined! When conflict emerges, I think most of us desire to respond with compassion and grace, yet this often is not our initial reaction.
Our two most basic responses to conflict is to attack or escape. When we go on the attack, the tension almost always escalates into full-blown conflict. This is especially true when we choose brutal honesty over speaking the truth in love, when we seek control over collaboration, or when we show disrespect to others rather than holding them in high regard. While we’ve all seen the damaging effects of these overtly hurtful actions, there is also great harm that occurs when escaping through silent disengagement.
If, like me, you struggle to make your first response your best response, the challenge is this: how can I more quickly recognize my need to go to the Father and do a personal heart check? With the Spirit of God as our guide, He can help us to course correct and make a hasty return to The Path of a Peacemaker.
Final thoughts… .
Our peacemaking journey will be filled with ups and downs, trials and triumphs, huge strides forward and a few steps back. The Path of a Peacemaker isn’t traveled by those who are perfect, but by those who surrender their missteps to God, and with His strength and help, continue to move forward on the path. It isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Walk the path.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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