The Peacemaker By Ken Sande

Part One: Glorify God

Chapter One – Glorifying God

Peacemakers are ones who breathe grace into situations

The Four G’s of Peacemaking:

  1. Glorify God
  2. Get the mote out of your own eye
  3. Gently restore
  4. Go and be reconciled

Escape Peacemaking       Attack

Denial Personal:       Assault: (physical, verbal)

(Gen. 16:1-6)   Overlook       (Acts 6:8-15)

  (Prov. 19:11)

Flight    Reconciliation (heart)       Litigation

(Gen. 16:6-8)   (Matt. 5:23-24)       (Matt 5:25-26;Rom13;1 Cor 6)

  Negotiation (practical)

Suicide   (Phil. 2:2-4) (money, etc.)       Murder

      (Acts 7:54-58)

Assisted:

    Mediation

                (non-binding advice)

    (Matt. 18:16)

    Arbitration

    (binding decision)

    (1 Cor 6:1-8)

    Accountability

    (Matt. 18:17)

* Putting the issue aside, look at how you are treating each other

Heart issues first  —>  Feelings  —>  Practical Issues

Conflict: A difference of opinion or purpose that frustrates someone’s goals or desires

Conflict is not always bad – often it is simply the result of God-given differences

Four primary Causes of Conflict:

  1. Misunderstandings caused by poor communication (Joshua 22:10-34)
  2. Differences in goals, values, gifts, calling, priority, opinion, expectations

(Acts 15:39; 1 Cor. 12:12-31)

  1. Competition over limited resources (time, money, etc.) (Gen. 13:1-12)
  1. Sinful attitudes that lead to sinful words and actions (James 4:1-2)

Four primary questions to ask when seeking to resolve conflict?

  1. How do I glorify God in this matter?
  2. How can I show Jesus’ work in me by taking my responsibility in this conflict?
  3. How can I lovingly serve others by helping them take the responsibility for their part?
  4. How can I demonstrate the forgiveness of God and encourage a reasonable solution?

Conflict Management = Conflict stewardship – God is empowering me to steward a situation

Conflict is an opportunity to walk out true spirituality:

  • Grow to be like Christ (act justly)
  • Serve others (love mercy)
  • Glorify God (walk humbly with God) See Micah 6:8

Chapter Two – Live at Peace (Romans 12:18)

God loves Peace.  It is part of his character.  It is the fruit of His Spirit in our lives.

Jesus is the Supreme Peacemaker.  He Brings:

  1. Peace with God (Salvation – Col. 1:19-20)
  2. Peace with Others (Unity – Eph. 2:11-18)
  3. Peace within ourselves (Righteousness – 1 John 3:21-24) (wholeness, rest, order)

Jesus’ teachings focus on practical peace and unity with one another.  He prayed for our unity, so that God might be glorified and that the world might believe.  Every epistle holds an exhortation to live at peace with one another. Peacemaking is not an option for the believer.

Chapter Three – Trust in the Lord and Do Good

We can trust God and do what is right when we understand God’s:

  1. Sovereignty (ultimate control over all things)
  2. Goodness (infinite interest in all that pertains to our lives)
  3. Justice (God ultimately rights all wrongs)

Trust means that, despite our questions, doubts and fears, we receive his grace to believe his sovereignty, love and justice and continue to do good. (Job 42:2-3)

Part Two: Getting the Log out of Your Own Eye

Chapter Four – Is this Really Worth Fighting Over?

Should I Overlook or Pursue?

Overlooking is actively deciding not to talk about the offense, dwell on it or let is grow into bitterness.  If you cannot do this, you must go to the person and talk to them in a loving and constructive manner.

Overlook minor offenses (Prov. 19:11; 1 Peter 4:8; Eph. 4:32)

  1. When the offense does not create a wall that lasts
  2. When the offense does not cause serious harm to God’s reputation or the offender’s reputation

Check Your Attitude and Change It

Philippians 4 tells us how to develop a proper attitude in conflict

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always – Be God focused.  Think on His forgiveness and goodness.
  2. Let your gentleness be known to all men
  3. Get rid of anxious thoughts.  Think on what is true, noble, worthy, pure in the offender.  (Neither exaggerate faults nor overlook virtues of others)

Count the Cost

The scripture tells us to go to our brother quickly, to not let the sun go down on our anger.  These exhortations are there because of the high price of unresolved conflict.  Time, energy, money, emotional, spiritual and physical stress, self-pity, bitterness can affect us and spill over onto family, co-workers and friends.  Sometimes it costs less to settle, even to take a loss on a conflict than it does to draw out a conflict. 

  • Will asserting my rights honor God and benefit me and others?  Is it necessary for my well-being?  If not, give up rights.  If so, assert rights.

Chapter Five – Conflict starts in the Heart (James 4:1-3; Matt. 15:19)

The root cause of conflict is unmet desires in the heart

“I won’t be happy until I get ­­­­_________.”  The desire then begins to control us (idolatry). 

Desire —>  Demand —>  Judging others who will not fulfill our desires —> Punish them

  • Some desires are inherently wrong.  Others are right and good.  Even a good desire can go bad when it controls us.  We begin to trust in the desire, love it and fear losing it.  Love, trust and fear are words of worship – we now have an idol.

When someone disappoints you, you must choose between two options:

  1. Trust God – seek my fulfillment in him, ask Him to help me grow no matter what the other person does, continue to love and pray for the person, look to restore the relationship at a future date.  God promises to bless this choice.
  2. Keep fighting to get out desire – dwell on the disappointment, allowing that desire to control us, decide that I have a right, I am entitled, demand my rights, punish the offender, withdraw from the relationship; we become accuser, judge and executioner.

The cure for an idolatrous heart

  • Realize our idolatry and look to the one true God
  • Repent and transfer our trust fear and love to God
    • Work backwards to find your root desire
    • Ask the x-ray questions (Why am I preoccupied with this? Where do I put my trust? What do I fear? What causes frustration and anxiety? Do I desire this so strongly that I am willing to hurt others for it?)
    • Journal your desires and feelings
    • Pray daily for God to deliver you
    • Describe your idols to an accountability partner
    • Realize that idols can disguise and change
    • Seek help from a pastor, professional
    • Ask God for a desire to worship Him alone

Chapter Six – Confession Brings Freedom (Proverbs 28:13)

Deal honestly with your contributions to a conflict.  Remove the beam first, the speck later

Grace is the key to Peacemaking.  To repent means to change how we think and therefore how we act.

  • 40/60 rule – I am only 40% to blame, therefore she should be first to repent – No, we must fully own our part in the conflict and respond by confession and repentance.

The seven A’s of confession

  1. Address everyone involved
  2. Avoid using words like “if”. “but”, and “maybe”
  3. Admit specifically what you have done wrong
  4. Acknowledge the hurt that the other person is feeling
  5. Accept the consequences
  6. Alter your behavior
  7. Ask for forgiveness

If forgiveness is not granted, give the person more time.  You may have to take another person with you in a later attempt to restore the relationship.

Part Three: Gently Restore

Chapter Seven – Just Between the Two of You (Matthew 18:15)

The context of Matthew 18 is the parable of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep and the unmerciful servant.  The context is thoroughly about forgiveness. 

  • If a person’s sins are too serious to overlook, we must go to them
  • There is more to restoring others than just confronting them.  Scripture commands is to confess, instruct, reason with, show, encourage, warn, admonish, rebuke (this is a wide spectrum of urgency).

Personal Confrontation

  • Sometimes it is better to go face to face directly
  • At other times it is good to approach a person indirectly (Jesus, woman at the well)
  • At times it is best to go through a third party (in cases of sexual or physical abuse, etc.)

Galatians 6:1 

“Caught” in sin (overtaken, surprised)

“Restore” him gently (mend, repair, equip, complete, prepare)

  • Approach people gently, remaining open to the possibility that you may have misunderstood the situation
  • If they do not respond, what do you do?
    • Overlook
    • Build on their superficial confession
    • Realize you have planted a seed and postpone dealing with it deeper until later

Chapter Eight – Speak the Truth in Love (Eph. 4:15)

Say only what will build others up

Words can bring understanding and agreement or conflict and division.   

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to correct serious faults, but  begins by addressing them as saints a nd using words like grace, enriched, spiritual gifts, keep you blameless, fellowship, faithful God – then he addressed the errors.  Don’t dwell on the failures only, but on the positive aspects of the other party. 

  • Be quick to listen (James 1:9 – pay attention, clarify, respond slowly, agree when you can)
  • The tongue of the wise brings healing (Prov. 12:18)
  • Speak in a slow, persuasive, constructive manner
  • If we are filled with grace, we can extend it to others
  • Believe the best
  • Use “I” statements, not “you” statements
  • Face to face is better than phone, letter
  • Quote the Bible only to build up, not to tear down
  • Ask appropriate questions
  • Know when to stop – you cannot force a person to change. Let God work on them.

Chapter Nine – Take one or Two Others Along (Matt. 18:16)

  • Make every effort to resolve differences personally – but sometimes we need help
  • Keep the circle of people involved in a conflict as small as possible for as long as possible

Five Steps of Involving Others:

  1. Overlook the offense
  2. Talk in private
  3. Take one or two along
  4. Tell it to the Church (leadership, not the congregation on Sunday morning)
  5. Treat him as an unbeliever (church discipline) (Matt 18:17)

Part Four: Go and Be Reconciled

Chapter Ten – Forgive as God Forgave You (Col. 3:13)

  • We need God to cleanse and change our hearts in order for us to forgive
  • Forgiveness is not a feeling – it is a deliberate choice
  • Forgiveness is not forgetting – it is actively not dwelling on or talking about the offense
  • Forgiveness is not excusing – it is calling it wrong and wiping it clean
  • Someone must pay the debt for forgiveness (Jesus and me)
  • When God forgives, he does not remember – He releases the penalty and restores the relationship

When do I forgive?  Ideally repentance precedes forgiveness.  However, in minor offenses, the matter can be overlooked and wiped clean, closing the matter forever.

Sometimes restitution should be given (required) even though the matter is forgiven. 

Overcoming Unforgiveness

  1. Confirm repentance
  2. Remembering our wrongs helps us forgive others
  3. Understand that God is sovereign and working in this to mature me
  4. Remember how much God has forgiven me
  5. Rely on God’s grace to help me forgive

Replacement principle: think good things about the offender

  • I will replace negative thoughts, words and actions with positive ones

Chapter Eleven – Look to the Interests of Others (Phil. 2:4)

Competition Negotiation

  • fails to produce the best possible solution to a problem
  • Sees a “fixed pie” – one gets more, so one must gets less
  • Can be inefficient – Each one states case and then successive compromise and concessions are made – this consumes much time and causes frustration
  • Can damage personal relationships (focus on material, not personal concerns and feelings)

Cooperative Negotiation (working with opponents seeking the best for all)

When you need to negotiate: P.A.U.S.E.

Preparation

  • Pray and ask for humility, discernment and wisdom
  • Get facts, research, talk to key people
  • Identify issues and interests (yours and others)
  • Apply biblical principles
  • Develop options
  • Anticipate reactions (walk in their shoes)
  • Select appropriate time and place
  • Carefully plan opening remarks
  • Seek Counsel

Affirm Relationships

  • Conflicts involve 1) people and 2) problems – focus on the people first, then the problem
  • Be courteous
  • Communicate respect and concern
  • Respect authority of leaders
  • Address sin in a gracious manner
  • Try to understand their concerns
  • Develop solutions
  • Give praise and thanks

Understand the Interests of Others

  • Interests motivate people and are the basis of their perspective
  • Carefully list your own interests
  • Carefully discern your opponents interests

Search for Solutions that Satisfy Everyone

  • Brainstorm Spontaneously
  • List options, but do not select any yet
  • The best solution may be a combination of several ideas

Evaluate Possible Solutions Objectively and Reasonably

  • Use objective criteria
  • Look at your opponents interests
  • Refer to Biblical principles
  • Put the agreement in writing, including
    • What issues were resolved
    • What action will be taken
    • Who is responsible for each action
    • Dates by which actions shall be completed
    • When and how the agreement will be reviewed
    • Meet again if necessary

Chapter Twelve – Overcome Evil with Good (Romans 12:12-21)

When people do not want to reconcile or are argumentative, use your spiritual weapons

  • Word of God
  • Spirit of God
  • Fruit of Spirit
  • Humility
  • Control tongue
  • Seek godly advisors
  • Do what is right
  • Recognize your limits (as much as is possible with you, live in peace with all men)
  • The ultimate weapon – love
  • Discern their needs and try to meet them

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