We live in a world of conflict. It is on the news every day, nations in conflict with other nations and neighbors living in conflict with each other. We find conflict in or own families. We even find conflict within our churches. Everywhere you turn you find conflict. Conflict occurs when we have a difference of opinion or difference of purpose with someone and that difference frustrates both individuals and causes conflict. Conflict can arise over something very simple and often does.
By the way, the Bible doesn’t say that all conflict is bad. Sometimes it is just a difference of opinion that can be worked through if both individuals are willing. What makes conflict negative or positive is how we decide to handle the conflict and work through the conflict. The truth is any conflict we encounter can be used as an opportunity to glorify God and to help us grow and mature In Christ I Corinthians 10:31 tells us that, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” There are many examples of conflict in the Bible. The disciples were involved in conflict with each other at times and many times those conflicts turned into teaching moments for Jesus.
Ken Sande in his book, “The Peace Maker”, shares the four G’s of peacemaking that will help you work through conflict so you can be on your way to resolution and reconciliation when conflict arises. The four G’s are:
Glorify God: Remember I Corinthians 10:31. Ask yourself, “How can I please and honor God in this situation.”
Get the log out of your own eye: Mathew 7:3-5 says, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ask yourself, “How can I show that Jesus is at work in me by taking responsibility for my contribution to the conflict.”
Gently restore: Galatians 6:1 says, “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” Ask yourself, “How can I lovingly serve others by helping them take responsibility for their part in the conflict.”
Go and be reconciled: Mathew 5:23-24 says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Ask yourself, “How can I demonstrate the loving forgiveness of God and encourage a reasonable resolution to the conflict.”
These four G’s are guided by a fifth and greatest G, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of the love of Jesus for us and what He did for us on the cross should be our motivations to exercise the four G’s anytime we find ourselves in a conflict. The Gospel of Christ is our inspiration, model, and method of peacemaking.
Buddy Hunt is the Eastern Regional Ministry Partner for Oklahoma Baptists and can be reached at email@example.com.