Jan 21 2015
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:15
We need to let go of the idea that showing someone his fault always requires direct confrontation. Although that approach will be appropriate in some situations, we should never do it automatically. Instead, we should ask God to help us discern the most winsome and effective way to approach a particular person at a particular time and to open the way for genuine reconciliation.Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 145.
Food For Thought
When it says above, “Instead, we should ask God to help us discern the most winsome and effective way…” the author used the word winsome. Do you know what that word means?
The dictionary defines it this way: Generally pleasing and engaging, often because of a childlike charm and innocence.
Most of us are not winsome. When we grew up and put away childish things, we unfortunately put away the childlike as well. So it’s all the more important for us to ask God to guide us in the paths of winsomeness as we seek reconciliation–particularly when we are approaching others to point out their contribution to a conflict.
It’s hard to refuse the little girl selling those cookies door to door, isn’t it? Her charm and innocence is pleasing and engaging. These traits almost always guarantee someone opening the front door and listening to what she has to say. So let us pray for winsome hearts as we approach the closed doors between others and ourselves. And may those doors stay open, leading to genuine reconciliation as the Father guides us in making peace.