Blessed are the peacemakers (part 4)

Is This Really Worth Fighting For?

What a simple but profound question. Is it really worth becoming angry and vengeful when life does not turn out the way that was planned? Life is filled with ups and downs that require a response. A believer’s response must be to overlook hurts that come in life and respond with a forgiving heart. Jesus set the ultimate example of sacrificial love and forgiveness. It is easy to focus upon any situation with frustration if there are hurt feelings. God has not called us to be ultra sensitive, but to realize that during life there will be pain. It all begins in the heart and results as a humble attitude. At the same time, God has not called us to be weak or defenseless. The key is to make every effort to overlook a transgression of anyone we come in contact with in life.

Examine Yourself

God has not called believers to compare based upon the world’s standards, but upon the Word of God. I realized that only when I am honest about holding a grudge, it squashes a part of my heart to surrender to God. Instead of being calm, the tendency is to allow emotions to overtake judgment. Another aspect of examining my heart has shown that after holding a grudge, I backed away from other close relationships in my life as a defensive mechanism. I used the disagreement as a concession to allowing it to become a hindrance to friendship.

Free Yourself From Sin

The cross is the only way that mankind can be right from their sin problem. Christ went through many sufferings and always responded with grace and power towards his followers and enemies. Action is expected when repentance is present. God not only desires prayer to be specific, but also the restoration of broken relationships.[1] It is important to maintain a clean conscience through resolving conflict.

Gently Restore just between the two of you

When conflict arises, the response many times has been to react in a defensive way. If a person is not handling the conflict in a wise way, the Holy Spirit will convict him of any wrongdoing. If a person is unrepentant or unwilling to admit their sin, it is wise to bring along one or two people who are wise in dealing with conflict. The principle comes out of Matthew 18 and if more people applied it to their personal lives, there would be less divorce and broken relationships. The danger of bringing others into a conflict can make it harder to resolve due to differing views on the solution.

Go and Be Reconciled

God has shown the greatest act of reconciliation by paying the price for salvation through his death, burial and resurrection from the dead. Christ calls believers to be reconciled to one another at all costs and to not allow any hurtful attitude to spread among friendships. God set an example through the cross that we must follow. One of the best quotes in the book was, “Because Christians are the most forgiven people in the world, we should be the most forgiving people in the world.”[1] Much is expected of believers who have been forgiven completely. The practical application of this principle is to always seek out the conflict in a way that is not passive, but reveals a heart that seeks after truth and forgiveness. Forgiveness does not include excuses or forgetting, but it is a continual choice to release the person into God’s hands.

[1] The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, 161.

[1] “If a man cleanses himself from sin, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 1 Timothy 2:21