What Needs to Change?

It’s been said that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. Those of us who believe this statement are more likely to see how this truth applies to the conflict in our lives. As important as it is to take responsibility for the fallout of past offenses, if we stop there, we miss a substantial and vital component of authentic confession.

While it is imperative to address every aspect of the conflict we are attempting to put behind us, it is just as crucial that we learn how to move forward in a more positive way. If we are unwilling to assess and correct the issues that lead to conflict, it increases the likelihood that a similar situation will surface in the future – with the same person or with someone else.

As we evaluate the mistakes of the past and anticipate how to build solid relationships in the future, it helps to look deep inside our hearts, and with God’s grace and guidance, ask ourselves this important question: How do I need to change? As we pause to ponder this question, we may benefit from leaning on a trusted friend who knows and cares enough about us to offer honest feedback. After taking into account their wisdom, and pausing long enough for the Spirit of God to reveal the places in our hearts that need to look more like His heart, we can begin to experience the kind of transformation that helps us move forward on the path of peace.

Final Thoughts…

For most of us, change isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright hard! Yet, with our Father’s help, we can ask Him to help us to become more like Him as we travel The Path of a Peacemaker.

If you are working through a contentious situation, here are a few additional questions you may want to consider as you move toward confession and reconciliation: What do I need to specifically confess to a brother or sister about changes I am making in my life? How will these changes impact my present and future relationships – not only with this person, but with others?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

In next week’s blog post, we’ll continue to look at the importance of confession in the peacemaking process. 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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What is the Cost of Conflict?

As we follow the Path of a Peacemaker, sometimes reconciling a broken relationship is the most difficult part of the journey. Whenever resolving the hurt and brokenness that enters our lives, there are a few probing questions we would do well to contemplate: Is it possible to forgive an offense, but not forget it? Can a conflict be resolved without the relationship being restored? Depending on the nature of the circumstances, sometimes the appropriate response is yes – other times, the answer is no.

Whenever a trust has been broken, a confidence has been betrayed, or a serious offense has occurred, authentic confession may be a powerful turning point in reconciling a damaged relationship. Even so, there may be barriers that are difficult to overcome. Whether the price we pay for conflict is temporary or ongoing, we can place our hope in the Lord, remembering that with Him, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Final thoughts…

While admitting fault and acknowledging hurt is an important part of confession, understanding the consequences of conflict is imperative, too. As we seek to resolve our differences and come to a place of reconciliation, it is helpful to consider and reach a mutual understanding of these concerns: How has this conflict changed our relationship? To what degree can our relationship be restored? If restoration isn’t possible now, is it something that can be achieved in the future?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

In next week’s blog post, we’ll continue to look at the importance of confession in the peacemaking process. 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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How Have I Hurt You?

We all respond to hurt differently. Some of us openly express it, while others try to repress it. Yet, regardless of whether we wear our hearts on our sleeves or are more content to conceal our true feelings, the process of reconciliation is best served when we proactively seek to discover and address the hurt experienced in a relationship as a result of conflict.

Sometimes the pain will be evident. Other times, it will be more difficult to uncover. Rather than assuming we understand the perspective (and the pain) of another person, a more effective approach may be to simply ask this question: How have I hurt you?

The truth may be hard to hear, but if we’ll allow the Spirit of God to open our ears and hearts, it may bring about a genuine understanding of the actions and reactions of the one with whom we are at odds. Especially when our own hearts are injured as a result of this conflict, this is a powerful way to extend mercy just as our Heavenly Father has so graciously extended the same to us (Luke 6:36).

Final thoughts…

Confession isn’t merely an admission of where we may have gone wrong. It’s an acknowledgment of how our actions may have hurt someone else. When we are willing to confess our faults, and then go a step further by admitting how our actions have been hurtful, there is greater opportunity to go beyond clearing the air and actually establishing a new connection with that person.

When feelings are wounded, sometimes we become more concerned with being right than with making things right. If you’re dealing with conflict, I’d encourage you to consider this: Am I prepared to take responsibility, not only for my role in the conflict, but for how my actions may have been hurtful? Am I willing to understand – and then confess – how my actions have contributed to the hurt in the relationship?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

In next week’s blog post, we’ll continue to look at the importance of confession in the peacemaking process. 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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Good for the Soul… and Relationships

They say confession is good for the soul, and when it is authentic, I believe it is. Yet, the longer I journey The Path of a Peacemaker, the more convinced I am that our inability to take our eyes off of the faults of another long enough to see our own is one of the greatest barriers to authentic confession.

If our desire is to respond to conflict in a way that opens the door to a restored relationship, there is no substitute for an honest assessment of our role in the dispute and being open to accepting personal responsibility. When this is followed by an authentic, gracious confession that specifically addresses our own wrongdoing, it powerfully validates our recognition that the offense between us is real, not abstract.

When we are willing to take the challenging step of humbling ourselves and confessing our own faults in the matter, we’ll find God’s hand at work in the situation – if not to restore the relationship, to restore our hearts. No matter the outcome, we can be assured that our actions have pleased our Father and that we are walking in step with Him on The Path of a Peacemaker (James 5:16).

Final thoughts…

When, through the Spirit of the Lord, confession is offered out of a humbled and repentant heart, it is not only good for the soul – it is good for our relationships. If you need to make something right with a brother or sister, I’d encourage you to ask yourself these questions: For which part of the conflict am I responsible? What specifically do I need to confess to my brother or sister? Have I turned my attention away from judging the other person’s actions, so that I can take responsibility for my own role in the conflict?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

In next week’s blog post, we’ll continue to look at the importance of confession in the peacemaking process. 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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