Confession: I don’t handle conflict well. I tend to shy away from conflict because of fear. Other times, I respond to conflict with selfish anger that only creates more conflict.
Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” God calls every follower of Jesus to be a peacemaker, but what does that look like? How do I practice peacemaking without being too passive or too aggressive?
Knowing that I don’t handle conflict well, I looked for resources to help me. I remembered a class in seminary that required me to read The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. I highly recommend this book. This book has helped me to see how the Gospel should shape my view of conflict and how I respond to moments of tension.
In his book, Sande describes what a peacemaker looks like. He says:
“Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and then they bring his love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God delights to breathe his grace through peacemakers and use them to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice, and encourage repentance and reconciliation.” 1
The Peacemaker offers so much wisdom and practical advice for how to grow in peacemaking. I love how Sande points to the grace of God as the reason we should and the sole means by which we can forgive others.
We all face conflict. The question is: Are we handling conflict Biblically and beneficially? Conflict can be the perfect opportunity to glorify God and grow in your relationship with others. Here’s a link to get your copy of The Peacemaker.
1 Ken Sande, The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, May 2007), 11.