I launched in to adult life devoid of peacemaking skills. Words like, “Go to your room and come out when you have a smile on your face.” left me a vacuum, void of know-how, to manage conflict.
Whenever a disagreement arose I would speak until heard, really heard. The tone of my voice would escalate based on my perception of whether or not the person understood me clearly. Tumultuous arguments ensued from simple grievances giving way to repeated opportunities for rejection and abandonment in my life.
Thankfully Jesus saves. He pulled me out of my miry pit of hopelessness and showed me how He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus changes us in matters of the heart divinely. He also changes us practically. As we follow His example, we learn useful skills.
[Jesus] became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth—John 1:14.
Grace gives one another space to make mistakes and speak candidly, albeit respectfully, about the conflict and each persons’ role in it. Truth inspires us to hammer away pride, as Jesus would, to come before one another in humility (Philippians 2:3-4).
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. —C.S. Lewis
Jesus’ sacrifice at
I use the imagery of a nut and bolt to fasten our love for one another together with forgiveness. An interesting characteristic of wood joinery is that a well-planned, well-constructed joint can be stronger than the original wood. The same is true of our relationships. When joined or repaired according to Gods plan for reconciliation and restoration, they can turn out stronger and richer than they ever were before.
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends— Proverbs 17:9 NLT (emphasis mine).
- Declare your offense, “I wronged you (fill in the blank).” Confession
- Listen with your heart, “How did it made you feel?” Humility
- Perform forgiveness, “How can I fix what I have done? Restitution
- Turn away from wrongdoing, “What can I do differently next time?” Repentance
- Seek unity, “Will you forgive me?” Reconciliation
Written by Edy Sutherland
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