Not a fan of unplanned detours? Neither am I. They create aggravation, force delays, and interfere with my plans. All it takes is one wrong turn, a missed road sign, or inadequate directions and we find ourselves in a place we never intended to be.
The same is true for those who walk The Path of a Peacemaker. While the peacemaker’s path is clearly marked by genuine grace, authentic justice, and a response that reflects a commitment to the Gospel of Christ, other routes take us far away from the reconciliation and peace we so earnestly desire.
One such detour from “The Path” is a defensive response to conflict. Whenever the focus shifts from an amicable resolution to the offense itself, peace is no longer the intended destination. Instead, it’s about coming out ahead in the argument. With harsh words and actions no longer off limits, those in attack mode may find that peace is elusive and the road back to a restored relationship is considerably more difficult.
While some may choose the war path, others are eager to discover an escape route. On the surface, retreat may appear to be a quieter, more civil way to address conflict. However, this detour is not without its own pain and heartache. As issues go unaddressed and relationships remain unrestored, those who walk this road will find themselves miles away from the path of peace.
Time to Reflect
When confronted with conflict, it doesn’t matter whether our natural response is to attack or escape. Either is a detour from God’s desire for us, and always leads us down a dead end road. My prayer is that we will quickly recognize the “Dead End” signs associated with attacking and escaping so that we can make a U-Turn back onto The Path of a Peacemaker.
In our efforts to stay on “The Path”, reflection is an important part of the journey. If we are willing to ask ourselves deep, probing questions – and then answer them honestly – our Father can open our eyes to the good steps, the missteps, and the detours we have taken along the way.
This week, I leave you with these reflection questions: What is my natural response to conflict? When I find myself at odds with a brother or sister, do I take aim and fire, or look for the quickest escape route? If I’ve taken a detour, what steps lead me back to The Path of a Peacemaker?
Up Ahead on “The Path”…
Check out next week’s blog post for more reflection questions as we journey The Path of a Peacemaker. On a related note, if you enjoy the blog, I hope you’ll consider attending The Path of a Peacemaker Seminar on Saturday, September 26th. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to get all the details and sign up today!
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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