Community, Coping with the Challenges

The Pursuit of Peace

Coming home from day 1 of a women’s conference, where the topic was about conflict resolution, it wasn’t long before I was put to the test. Just in my own home, where six sinners reside, conflicts are plentiful. I was giving my son, Gabriel, some instructions for bedtime, the same instructions I give every night.  It’s part of our routine, which is integral for his comfort and assurance. Sometimes, I’ll break off just a little bit from that familiar routine in order to train him to be flexible in situations. But, that little break will often lead to conflict. And, if my mind and heart are not ready to receive and resolve that conflict biblically, sin will multiply.

argument.We live in a sinful idol-worshipping world, where the foremost idol is self. In other words, conflict is inevitable. Every which way you turn, there is a potential for disagreement, quarrels, friction, hostilities, or an all-out feud. And beware … those small conflicts can explode into one chaotic mess or, worse, will often be overlooked and remain unresolved until it has grown into a deep root of bitterness. My conflict with Gabriel was over brushing his teeth! But, within me, I felt the frustration come to a quick boil, and I was tempted to release the steam to quickly resolve that conflict.

How do you resolve conflict? Do you go to The Lord first? Do you consider what His word says about your problem? Do you insist on what you believe to be your rights or do you consider the other person’s interests before your own?

There is so much to share about what I learned during that conference, but it can be summarized into this one amazing truth, which ought to end all disagreements and fights, big or small.

For Christians, our greatest conflict has been settled.

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners,

Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Remember what we once were: enemies of God, objects of His wrath, lovers of darkness. What you perceive to be your biggest conflict at the present time would seem to be merely a squabble in light of the former hostility between us and our Creator. Let us not forget what He did for us. Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, reconciled us to God. Where there was once conflict, there is now peace.

 

(Photo Credit: smile_kerry)

14 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Peace”

  1. It’s mind-blowing, to think how God created us and gave us free will, which we freely use to turn from Him… He then made it possible for us to turn back to Him AND chose to be the reconciling party… All that trouble for self-minded humans who never like to be the first ones to say “sorry”… That alone is proof of God’s true awesomeness!!! ❤

    1. When you think about it, before salvation, that free will was under the dominion of sin. We were slaves of sin. We were free to choose, but we always chose sin. So, in essence, we were not really free. Only in Christ, did we truly become free indeed! That is amazing grace!

  2. So true that our foremost idol is self. I’m so grateful the Lord sought and provided a means of reconciliation even when we were His enemy. It takes two to reconcile, and even though it isn’t always easy, I try to leave an open door. Great post!

    1. It’s good for us to keep in mind Romans 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” when considering potential conflicts with one another. But you know what amazes me? When it came to our conflict with God, there was only one reconciling party … He reconciled us to Himself. Then, on top of that, He gave us a new heart so that we would love and obey Him.

  3. So very good – every word. For me, I would just add one thing : When I anticipate conflict and gird up spiritually, it is SO MUCH BETTER than when I’m caught unawares by conflict. So based on what you’ve written – truth for sure! – I want to begin to pray IN THE MORNING about any possible conflict that may arise in the day. Anticipate any potential difficulties and deal with them in advance.

    Thanks again, great stuff.
    Claudia

  4. This is so true. And not only do we have all this potential for conflict within our own nature, but we have an enemy who’s constantly defining what others say so we will understand just what they “really mean” and what a deliberately hurtful thing they just said or did.

    1. Yes, that’s why we have to keep going back to what Christ did for us. We have to go back to the cross, where He was reviled but He did not revile in return. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to love, forgive, and forbear when we’ve been hurt so much, but He enables us to do this, despite our emotions and feelings. To me, that is quite a miraculous work on our hearts.

  5. We live in a sinful idol-worshipping world, where the foremost idol is self. You hit the nail on the head here … In the adult world this is the source of our conflict … As a parent you have a hard job to do, but from what I hear you are doing that well….

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