Yahshua – Jesus Christ is the peacemaker model to imitate, but our world
faces –on daily bases– problems such as divorces and children’s custody,
frauds, abuses, money lawsuits, wars, etc. Conflict begins in the heart but
Jesus treats our hearts. He says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid. ”John 14:27. This statement has a
background that is not natural to our way of treating others. Jesus is
saying that His peace is different to the one in the world. Jesus also
teaches the “Beatitudes” of which, the seventh, tells us: “Blessed are the
peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9, for
which, one must have learned the other beatitudes, especially the sixth, a
pure heart. The Christian must therefore be an active peacemaker, and
therefore the Church must know and be prepared, in each of its members to
deal with conflicts in a Biblical way, with the resolution of the conflict
in mind, in the love of God for the neighbour. Although the tendency is to
see conflict as a problem, it really is an opportunity to glorify God
through an authentic and merciful treat to others. First of all one must
cast away the beam in the eye and then peacefully restore with
reconciliation in mind. Even though not all conflicts are solvable, nor all
fights are worth dealing with, it will be the Holy Spirit who will guide us
if we place ourselves in His hands. Let us see how to become good
peacemakers because we already are in peace and reconciled with God through
the Cross of Jesus Christ.
HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS
The Christian peacemaker must follow four objectives: To glorify God through
his attitude, to cast the beam out of his eye, to restore humbly, and to
reconcile. Some Bible Texts that help us in these, known as the four beams
of peacemaking: 1Corinthians 10:31 To glorify God. Matthew 7:5 Cast away the
beam of your eye. Galatians 6:1 Restore humbly. Matthew 5:24 Go and
First of all is to identify and reach the heart of the conflict. The
conflict, against what we may think provides opportunities. First listen,
but to know how to listen is an art to learn. If one is part of the conflict
one must assume his part of guilt, reach those affected and confess, ask
forgiveness sincerely, which in itself is a compromise to change attitude
and of restitution. Follow the rule known as “SODA”: Stop – Observe – Decide
– And Then Act. Follow some norms, commandments, rules which provide order,
because live without them is chaos.
There are three basic attitudes before a conflict: of peace, of escape and
of attack. Those who run away from conflict may even deny it, escape, and in
extreme cases suicide. In the opposite extreme we have those who attack,
whether through physical or emotional assault, litigation or threat, and in
extreme cases murder. The counterweight is in a focused attitude of the
peacemaker who sometimes will ignore unimportant facts, reconcile,
negotiate, mediate, arbitrate and give account, because his target is peace
and the relationship, this is, his style in conflict is resolution. Those
who only want to win do not fight for the relationship, as do not do those
who retract before conflict, or those who only give the first step but do
not resolve, these styles do not resolve the conflict peacefully; in which
one do you see yourself?
BENEFITS OF RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN THE MANNER OF YAHSHUA
It is interesting to consider that sometimes conflicts are the result of
having understood the diversity (work of God) of opinions as a bad thing,
instead of an opportunity for new experiences. Also we have to discern those
conflicts which are useless and/or those which cannot be ignored. James
Our behaviour is watched when dealing with conflicts, not only by the
church, but at home, by family, children, and husband/wife. It is the model
they will learn and do in their lives, their own marriages, at school, etc.
If we imitate Christ, we will be more like Him, and as Paul would say
“imitate me”. Conflict is also a tool of God to make us more to the image of
His Son, like fidelity to a person who does not receive. It may help us to
remember the ABC of the conflict is that: the Adversity is the Base of
Peacemaking is a ministry, a stewardship; it is the administration of the
conflict in which God puts us with those capacities that He has granted us:
The Gospel is the key to efficient peacemaking. To be a faithful steward in
conflict we have to be: motivated, informed, strengthen, dependent, and
faithful, because God gives us gifts to be able to serve Him in conflicts,
through His Spirit.
Peace is the target to seek in conflict. Peace has three dimensions: God
loves peace; it is part of God’s character. It is a blessing to who follows
Him. God commands that we seek it. It is part of His covenant. And ¡Shalom!
Jesus is Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6 (Peace with God, amongst us and
inside us) My peace I give to you. Peace comes from God’s justice in our
heart. When our life is full of unresolved conflicts and broken
relationships, we will have little success sharing the good news of the
saving work of Jesus on the cross. This principal is taught repeatedly along
the New Testament.
Christian reputation depends on our attitude and on how we love even our
enemies, the Christian testimony is in the way we treat others. Blessed are
the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9.
Satan is the “adversary” creator of conflict and of separation, these are
his targets; let us fight like gladiators.
The forgiveness that we have from Christ we must carry and use in conflict
for those that fight, so they see how much God loves them so they reconcile.
Trust the Lord and do good. The more you understand God’s love and power the
more you will trust Him. God is sovereign. God is in control of all. To
trust God is a personal decision. God is good. The path is set.
Also Paul gave five instructions to the churches: Rejoice always in the
Lord. Be kind to all. Change anxiety for prayer. See things as they are, and
see the good in others. Practice what you learn. Evaluate the
cost/consequences in the short and long term of not resolving a conflict.
People’s rights. Where would we spend eternity if God applied justice
without mercy? Jesus did not use His rights on the Cross. Make others see
their errors and responsibilities when suitable. The Lord condemns the
attitude of one not wanting to lose what we have for peace sake. Be humble
at work and in the world before authority and to show the behaviour of
Christ for testimony, it will never return empty handed.
Conflict begins in the heart, we must remember. James 4:1-3 and Matthew
15:19 tell us that bad actions come from bad thoughts of the heart. The
unsatisfied wishes of our heart can become an idol, something that we
anxiously want and for what we begin to hate those that don’t satisfy it.
How can one discern when a good wish may be becoming a sinning obligation?
You may begin to ask yourself “X ray type” questions: What worries me? What
is the first thing in my mind in the morning and the last at night? How
would you fill in the empty space: “If only __________, then I would feel
happy, realized and safe? What do I want to preserve or avoid against all?
Where do I place my trust? What do I fear? When a certain wish is not
satisfied, do I fill frustration, anxiety, resentment, bitterness, wrath or
depression? Is there something that I wish so much that I could fail or hurt
others to have it? Idols demand sacrifices, like when a child is and others
don’t adore him, or we demand more from them, etc. To heal the idolater
heart with God’s love, repent, fear and trust God. Escape from judgment
looking to God only, deliverer from idolatry. His Bible, His Spirit and His
Church deliver from specific idolatries during life.
Repentance “metanoia” from two types of sadness: the one coming from the
world, due to the loss of someone of something; and the one coming from God
in us, the one that produces salvation, and not only that, but salvation
from what is holding us here. Confession brings freedom. To examine yourself
and seek for help to see one’s sin clearly. Not to use the tong as a weapon,
nor complain, talk false or gossip, slander nor talk in vane: watch this.
Not to control others. Have word. Not to abuse in authority or to not
respect it. Not to forget the Rule of Gold. Not to serve sinning wishes.
Inappropriate pleasures, pride or always wanting to be right. To love money
or possessions. Fearing man. And the good things that we want too much. To
grow to the image of Christ. God wants to help us change. Pray. Delight in
the Lord. Study the Bible. Practice, like Paul, Philippians 4:9.
We finish the conflict resolution with a method to control the situation
called “PAUSE” which in this occasion stands for Prepare through prayer,
information, holy and wise advice, and development of options. Affirm
relationships through genuine concern and respect. Understand interest,
worries, wishes, limitations and fears. Search for creative solutions
through prayerful ideas. Evaluate objectively a reasonable analysis of
CONFLICT IN FAMILY, CHURCH AND THE WORLD
The Christian peacemaker will always try to resolve conflicts, but the Lord
warns us that “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world” John 16:33b. But it is not the same to
deal with our family, whether all believers or not, nor a conflict with
brothers of the church is the same as with non believers used to the way the
Family is our vital centre, the one that God has placed from the beginning
with Adam and Eve, precisely where the enemy attacked to separate us from
God. It is therefore our way to treat the wife/husband the first priority
together with the children and the parents, and the place for our main
testimony and where to give glory to God. This is why traditional family is
being attacked in the entire western world, result of being closer to the
end times, according to prophecy.
In the church, which is supposed to be a place or company of people within
our faith, but it is made of us saints who were sinners that been restored
by Christ. In these two places we must have our comfort zone, where to find
our friends in Christ, where we should not have conflicts, but reality is
different. But if our heart has been regenerated by God, our style to
resolve will lead to peace in prayer and growth. We shall not reach to the
world to seek peacemaking when God called us to remain in peace amongst us.
A united church and in peace is an example of people restored by Christ.
Today we live the end times and there is division, but the Great Commission
which is God’s plan is reaching its end.
The last thing in this chapter deals with a conflict when violent and the
other part with whom we confront is not reasonable, does not want a
relationship or wants to hurt, there are two ways to deal by a Christian
peacemaker. The first we will focus towards non Christian people. In this
situation it is possible to reach to the courts and to law enforcement, we
see this in the words of James 4:1. The second we focus towards brothers in
Christ, in which case we find the answer for our attitude in words of Jesus
Christ: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there you
remember that your brother has something against you; Leave there your gift
before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and
then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24.
In the world we shall find people that make the effort and search for peace
and to resolve, but also we will find those who only want to win and do not
care about the consequences and the pain they do to others, and will go to
court. Here is where the Christian must lay in God’s hands to deal with it
like Jesus Christ would, be humble and try to glorify God, in a peaceful
attitude, correct, educated, and call for justice to the Just Judge.
Texts in the Bible. Genesis 13, 37. Proverbs 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 23,
25. Matthew 18:1-35. Acts 15:30-16:5. Romans 8:26-39. Galatians 6. Ephesians
4:6. Recommended book: The Peacemaker. Author Ken Sande, who has a dedicated
ministry to resolving conflict and who’s website goes deep into this
To be a peacemaker and resolve conflicts in a Christian and Biblical way we
must have in mind to glorify God, peace, relationship and to love our
neighbour. This must be our compromise. We have seen that by nature we
confront conflict as obligation or we try to escape of them, or we do not
consider the other part. Jesus Christ, Yahshua, nor came to the Cross by
obligation, nor escaped it, because He loves us, because it glorifies God,
because He gives us His peace, because He wants a relationship with us,
everyday and for eternity because He loves his neighbour, His Church. Jesus
Christ is the author of true peace, the true peacemaker. His new Kingdom
will be a kingdom of peace and love of God, where there will be no more
conflicts. In the mean time let us pray so that our transformed character by
the Holy Spirit in the middle of conflict can be used to reconcile, to
resolve conflicts, to avoid them and to bring peace to our neighbour and to
ourselves, and this way we may give glory to God. Amen.