Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Let me ask you a question, Do you have peace? My question isn't meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable or uneasy. I ask it because I struggle with it myself. Oftentimes I find myself uncomfortable in relationships and situations where I feel the need to be a peacemaker. Another term for it might be people pleaser. I don't really care for confrontation and I often say, "I am a lover not a fighter". This is really true of both my husband and I and our kids. We don't fight well. Thank God! Who does? Yet I am beginning to see that there is some balance that we must bring into relationships if we are going to be authentic. There will be times that conflict will come. Many great relationships are lost over conflict. Conflict can bring such division if it isn't handled properly. Here is my thoughts of late on the matter:
1. Addressing conflict doesn't mean that one should say things that are hurtful or accusatory to express how they are feeling. Let's expand on that thought. If I am having a problem with someone in my life and feel the need to address it, how I speak to the person and my body language should communicate that while I may not be happy with our current circumstances, I still love this person and desire to pursue relationship with them. So the foundation for all conflict should be sown in love. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
2. Never assume that the way you feel about a situation or person is truth. Often I find that something someone spoke was taken out of context or landed on me in an unhealthy way because it is an area where I have been wounded and so it hurts and the person who is just trying to express themselves has no idea how it made you feel. There is a message tied to conversation straight from the enemy and into our hearts. The enemy knows your wounds and he knows what will land on you in an unhealthy way. He is there trying to get you to agree with him and make assumptions about the motives of another person's heart. The crazy thing is that we fall for this all the time!
3. The only motive for confrontation should be healing. If confrontation keeps occurring but healing doesn't come then you are just dealing with a person who either can't see or isn't ready yet. Take a step back and let God, the Prince of Peace take over. He is the best PR person I know! :o)
A heart tied to Christ will be a heart that wants healing, restoration and peace.
I feel like this is where a lot of people are living right now. Our desire for peace has to be greater that even our desire for healing. Healing doesn't come until the peacemaker steps on the scene. We can express ourselves until we are blue in the face about how we are feeling but until we allow Jesus to enter into our relationships and give him permission to remove all speculation, accusation and doubt, and walk in the love of God, we will either have surface relationships or none at all.
Here is the real sad truth, PRIDE is the path to strife and conflict. Our pride gets in the way. This is all the enemy needs to work with. It is the chink in the armor that he gets access through and then he goes straight for the heart of you and yours.
The need to be right often leads to isolation, self protecting and loneliness. I have had to ask God to forgive me for my unwillingness to be uncomfortable and vulnerable. I am not experienced in this but I know that humility will never steer you in the wrong direction. Humility and submission to God in our interactions with others will produce a harvest of peace.
God is our greatest protecter. Right now I am praying and asking and believing him to bring the people into my life that I need and to preserve the ones that I am so blessed with already. I desire relationships that point me to wholeness and peace with God and others.
If you are in a current situation that seems like is never going to resolve itself, maybe it is time to do a little self evaluation. Ask yourself the hard questions that sometimes we shove to the back of our minds to avoid dealing with.
Have I really seen myself in this? How do I show up in my relationships? Am I approachable? What could I have done that would sow seeds of love instead of strife? Did I foster healing or did I just simply ignore it hoping it would resolve itself? Did I make an agreement with the enemy about another person inviting the enemy to enter into our relationship? Do I want healing or do I just want to prove that I am right and they are wrong?
The truth is simple, although we may not find it easy to do so, Paul says we should live at peace with all men as far as it depends on us. Romans 12:18
Confrontation and conflict can bring us closer to healing if we allow it. It is not all bad. We should not go looking for it but when conflict comes if the true desire to walk in God's love and bring healing to another is there, I believe and I am believing that healthy, beautiful community with others can happen.
Full disclosure: There will be some who would rather be right than whole. There will be some who, no matter what you do or say or don't do or say, are going to live in strife or discord.
I am believing God for healthy relationships and authenticity. Most of all I am pursuing peace. It is what he created us for. Living in total peace and submission to God first and then sowing those beautiful seeds of peace in the lives of the people we love. Community.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16