There are misunderstandings in every relationship.
The church is the bride of Christ.
Only 8% of the recorded human history was peaceful, the rest of the time there was wars. As a human race, we are really bad at getting along.
Matthew 5:9 NIV
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
We are called to be peacemakers.
1 John 4:20 NIV
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
Romans 12:18 NIV
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
James 3:18 NIV
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
1) Make the First Move
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Jesus doesn’t say don’t give or withdraw. He says to go and resolve conflicts with the highest priority!
What are obstacles that we face?
- We all have different personalities. We are usually a skunk that sprays or a turtle that withdraws.
- Time: the longer conflicts linger, the worse they tend to get. It takes time and we have to make it a priority to work things out.
2) Ask God for Wisdom
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Proverbs 19:11 NIV
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
3) Begin With What’s My Fault
When I’m at peace with God then comments from outside will not hurt me so much. Also, if it’s not about me then I’m much less likely to feel offended.
It’s always more rewarding to solve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship.
Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
4) Listen for Hurt & See Perspective
As men, we tend to just feel angry. Anger often comes out because I’m not good at listening.
James 1:19 NIV
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
… in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Romans 15:1-2 NIV
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.
5) Speak the Truth Well
Ephesians 4:15 NIV
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Never get your point across when you are cross.
Proverbs 12:18 NIV
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
6) Focus on Reconciliation not Resolution
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Who do I need to make peace with?
How can I help to create peace?
Let’s fast together to humble ourselves to be united.
More from the Together series