A Matter of Perspective

As I coach people through conflict, time and again I am reminded of just how much perspective matters. To illustrate this, on one occasion I invited four individuals to sit down at each side of a square table. After placing ten small objects of varying shapes on the tabletop, I asked everyone to sketch a picture of what they saw. At the end of the exercise, we looked at each picture and observed vastly different images. Why? Everyone was seeing those objects from a different vantage point. It wasn’t that anyone offered an inaccurate visual interpretation. The resulting differences were primarily a matter of perspective.

When conflict enters my space, I encounter a similar dilemma. I tend to see a situation from only one perspective – mine! While most disagreements are rooted in reality, the fact is that my perception often becomes my reality. Throughout the years I have found that when I am open to another point of view and do my best to see the proverbial “picture” from another perspective, my take on reality becomes more complete.

In those times when strife begins to surface, it helps to remember that we don’t know the whole story. We only know half of the story – our half. When we are willing to ask questions then, under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, humbly listen to and receive the other person’s uninhibited answers, our perspectives can be transformed in a way that allows us to see the big picture – not just the part that impacts us. Once our hearts are open to understanding a brother or sister’s hurts and interests, it can serve as a catalyst to authentic confession and connection.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Is it time to talk to a friend or foe about a difficult situation that has impacted your relationship? Here are some questions that can guide that time of listening, learning, and connecting: What impact have my actions had on you? How have I hurt you? What do you believe the consequences should be? What can I do to make things right? How would you like me to change my behavior?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Check out next week’s blog post as we continue to consider the importance of confession as part of connecting. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Ready to Connect

The longer I walk The Path of a Peacemaker, the more willingly I embrace the process of ascending to the Father and reflecting on my own role and responsibility in a conflict. Though the journey isn’t always easy, I experience the immeasurable blessing of being at peace with myself and the Lord.

There are times when I stumble through those first two steps (ascend and reflect) and subsequently struggle with the idea of reconciling a troubled relationship. However, when I take adequate time to walk through this process and finish well, I am eager to move forward with the next step of connecting with the brother or sister with whom I am at odds. As my heart is humbled and surrendered to God, He often restores those broken relationships and makes them as good (or better) than before – much like what we read of in this story of a fallen son and his forgiving father:

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:22-24

It is good to be reminded that peacemaking can be so much more than simply clearing the air, absolving our own guilt, or removing unhealthy tension from our lives. Instead, when the Spirit of God is at work in and through us, He can produce authentic forgiveness and restored relationships.

This week, if you find yourself in the midst of conflict, I’d like to challenge you with these questions: What are my goals in the process of peacemaking? Will I settle for the absence of conflict – or am I willing to passionately pursue the presence of peace? Am I only interested in a tolerable relationship with the other party – or do I want to restore it to a level of connection that was there before the conflict began?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Check out next week’s blog post as we explore the value of confession on The Path of a Peacemaker. On a related note, I hope you’ll consider attending The Path of a Peacemaker Seminar tomorrow, September 24th or this Saturday, September 26th. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to get all the details and sign up today!


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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Looking Back…

There have been pivotal moments in my life when I have received this sage advice: Don’t look back! The longer I’ve journeyed this earth, the more I’ve learned that too much time spent dwelling on the past poses the crippling prospect of dwelling in the past.

While constantly looking backward limits our ability to move forward, when we are willing to simply reflect on the past – without living there – we have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons concerning what has contributed to both our successes and shortcomings along the path of peace.

The Apostle James offers this insight into the process of examining our lives against the Word of God, and how we can make the most of this experience: “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do,” (James 1:23-25).

Time to Reflect

As peacemakers, the process of reflection alone is insufficient to help us make course corrections on The Path of a Peacemaker. It is when we are willing to evaluate ourselves through the lens of God’s Word, as revealed through His Spirit, that we are empowered to pursue the lasting change that brings about peace and blessing in our lives.

This week, I’m encouraging you to look back – but only long enough for the Spirit of God to guide your future steps. As you take time to reflect this week, here are some questions for you to consider: When conflict surfaces, are my attitudes and actions informed by my own desires and impulses – or do I draw from the principles of Biblical peacemaking? As a peacemaker, what do I do well – and what could I do better?

Up Ahead on “The Path”…

Check out next week’s blog post as we turn a corner, and discover how to connect on The Path of a Peacemaker. On a related note, I hope you’ll consider attending The Path of a Peacemaker Seminar on Thursday, September 24th or this Saturday, September 26th. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to get all the details and sign up today!


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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Is it Major or Minor?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself “majoring in the minors.” Instead of staying focused on what’s important, I become distracted by insignificant things. If I’m not careful, my life starts to revolve around minutia, instead of what matters most.

When it comes to conflict resolution, we are confronted with the same problem. At times, our emotions get in the way of rightly discerning which disputes need to be addressed and which ones can be overlooked. A healthy response is possible when we learn to major in the majors, minor in the minors, and develop the discernment to know the difference. As we read the words of Solomon, he offers this counsel on the matter: “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense,” (Proverbs 19:11).

Time to Reflect

There are certain “major” offenses that, if unaddressed, may become progressively worse. When someone is engaging in abusive or sinful behaviors that are impacting that person, you, or others, this is a substantive issue that is best confronted with wisdom, humility, and grace under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Other times, when a “minor” wound is inflicted and doesn’t threaten to permanently damage to the relationship, sometimes it is better to simply let it go. This isn’t the same as escaping from a problem or ignoring it; instead, it is a conscious decision to overlook the fault of a brother or sister and, through the empowerment of our Lord, completely surrender and release the situation to Him. When prompted by the Spirit of God to take this step, it is a courageous choice that can bring both joy and blessing.

As you experience conflict, I would encourage you to carefully assess each situation on its own merit and ask yourself these questions: What is the difference between a major and a minor offense – and which one am I dealing with right now? Should I address the infraction – or am I wise to overlook it?


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 Thursday, September 24th or Saturday, September 26th. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to get all the details and sign up today!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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When Great Minds Think Differently

When family, friends, or colleagues agree with us, sometimes we arrive at the conclusion that “great minds think alike.” Yet, when our ideas are challenged and the tension of disagreement arises, we seldom accept this turn of events as a convergence of great minds. Instead, many times we find ourselves in a dispute over who is right, who is wrong, and who is in a position to know the difference.

In those moments when our goals, desires, or expectations meet with resistance and prevent us from getting what we want, conflict is often the outcome. The Apostle James affirms this in James 4:2b: You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight…”  

Time to Reflect

When conflict enters my space, I ask myself this question: What is it that I want but am not getting? As I search the depths of my heart, I often gain better insight into my own role in a dispute. Whether my motives have been pure or selfish, when I understand how I’ve contributed to the conflict and am willing to take responsibility for it, I can return more quickly to the path of peace to which I have been called.

With the Spirit of God as your guide, I encourage you to take some time to ponder this week’s reflection questions: What are some things I want but don’t get? How are they contributing to the conflict in my life? Am I willing or able to let them go?


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 Thursday, September 24th or Saturday, September 26th. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to get all the details and sign up today!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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