Time for a Time Out?

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When dealing with difficult people, it is also important to recognize your limits. Even when you continue to do what is right, some people may adamantly refuse to admit you are right or to live at peace with you. This is why Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18). In other words, do all you can to be reconciled with others, but remember that you cannot force others to do what is right. If you have done everything in your power to resolve a conflict, you have fulfilled your responsibility to God and may stop actively trying to solve the problem. If circumstances change and you have new opportunities to seek peace with an opponent, you should certainly try to do so. In the meantime, it is not necessary or wise to waste time, energy, and resources fretting about someone who stubbornly refuses to be reconciled.

 

Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 252.

 

 

Food for Thought

Are you in the middle of a conflict where the harder you’ve tried to make peace, the worse things have gotten? Don’t be discouraged; instead, think about taking a “time out”. Sometimes we think of a time out as giving up. But sports coaches know that time outs are as important to the game as what happens while the clock is running. It gives the players a chance to regroup, to catch their breath, and to listen to the coach’s strategy for success. In the same way, perhaps you are in a conflict that could benefit from a time out–giving you a chance to regroup and seek the Lord for direction. Pray to God for wisdom on how and when to act “as far as it depends on you”–and patience to wait on the window of opportunity He will supply.

Blessed are the Peace-fakers?

 

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Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matt. 5:9

People who use escape responses are usually intent on ‘peace-faking,’ or making things look good even then they are not. This is especially common in the church, where people are often more concerned about the appearance of peace than the reality of peace. Attack responses are used by people who are prone to ‘peace-breaking.’ They are more than willing to sacrifice peace and unity to get what they want.

Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 28.

Food for Thought

Being a peacemaker is difficult. There is no other way to honestly speak about it. It is hard, humbling, and sometimes humiliating work. But consider this: The peace that Christ achieved for us was hard. Jesus is described as a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). It was humbling. Jesus humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). And it was humiliating. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame (Heb.12:2). All this was done so that peace, not just an appearance of peace, but the reality of peace would be achieved between God and human beings.

But believe it or not, being a peace-faker is difficult too. It takes a great deal of emotional energy to smile and wave or shake hands with someone at church when your heart is hardened against that person. Continuing to function in a civil manner alongside a co-worker who has wronged you can feel like splitting rocks in a prison camp. Tip-toeing around sensitive issues in your family while a dangerous current of anger and resentment boils beneath the surface can often make you physically sick inside. And what is the result of all this? The appearance of peace, but not the reality. For all of that time, and energy, and heartache, you end up with something that is not real.

Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lost heart.” Are you feeling weary? Yes, it’s hard and yes, there is hostility, but consider Jesus and don’t lose heart. With His strength and presence, it is doable. Remember, the goal is God’s peace. And while it may not always be pretty, it’s always real.

Conference about to Begin…

2012 Peacemaker Conference

The conference is about to start, and we’re excited! People are milling around, first timers are meeting together to get oriented, and the sound check is done in the ball room. Come back here later, and I’ll have uploaded the message from Ken Sande from tonight as soon as I can. Share it with others!

But if you’d like to follow along tonight LIVE, we’ve just confirmed that Tara Barthel will be liveblogging the general sessions each day. Join her over on her blog and follow along, ask questions, make comments, see photos, and experience what the rest of us are seeing here.

Hope to connect with you throughout the weekend!

An Opportunity to Serve

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Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people. When others are weighed down with problems and stress, God will sometimes use us to encourage them and help carry their burdens. In other situations, we may be able to give helpful advice, provide a positive example, or suggest creative solutions to problems. Best of all, conflict can provide the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel, even to people who are attacking us.

Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 143.

 

Food for Thought

It seems when we’ve got many problems and much stress, conflict comes at us faster than ever. Our emotions are intensified and things we may have overlooked now become full blown conflicts. No matter which way we turn, it stares us in the face. While this doesn’t provide an excuse to treat others poorly or unfairly, it does provide much opportunity for peacemaking.

The same is true for those around us. There could be circumstances in their lives causing them to respond differently than they normally would. Their burden may be too big for them to carry alone. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. God put you in their path to speak a kind word, offer forgiveness, give advice, or be a listening ear. To put it simply, to serve them. And when we’re serving others, our view of a conflict will often change.

Be on the lookout today for special God-given opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ even in the midst of conflict. When you actively model the gospel in action, you are making the most of every opportunity to serve other people.

Conference Week! Register soon for the Online Version

It’s conference week for us here at Peacemaker Ministries (registration is still open), and we’ve shifted our attention almost 100% to Denver. But here’s one more reminder to register for the Online Version before the price increases later this week!  

 2012 Online Conference

Preview the online conference
(requires enrollment key after 9/12/12)

View the online conference orientation video

Join us online, through PMU 
$179 ($199 after 9/12)

Get access for your entire CHURCH
$699

After registering here, you will receive
a confirmation email with detailed information
on accessing the online conference.

Each year we hear from people how they so wanted to come but for whatever reason they could not. Now almost anyone can join! The online version of our conference will make all of the general session and workshop recordings available to you in one easy-to-access location. Whether through your computer or your smartphone, you will be able to listen to these wonderful sessions anywhere you have an internet connection. We will upload sessions just as quickly as we can after the session completes so you’ll be able to experience the events near real-time. Additionally, you will have access to all of the workshop handouts & slides to follow along with the speaker. On top of that, each online workshop will have a discussion forum where you can post questions or observations about the workshops enabling you to connect with instructors and other peacemakers around the globe on these topics! This opportunity for ongoing dialog with other peacemakers is really exciting!