Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Our topic for this week was how to be a peacemaker, how do we resolve conflicts. Pastor Tim encouraged us to make the first move (Matthew 5:23-24) and start with confessing our own faults, our blindspots.
|Part of the problem is ME!|
But there's still that stubborn problem. If it is a blindspot, how do I see it?
We need to start with the assumption that in any conflict, we all have a part, even if it is small. And even though our part may be small, it is the only part we have the opportunity to change.
So I pray the prayer of King David: Create in me a pure heart, O God (Psalm 51:8) Lord, how can I see my faults? And so here are the questions to ask ourselves, to see our blindspots...
- WHAT is important to me? What exactly am I fighting for, upset about?
- WHY is it important?
- How important is it? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = "I do not prefer this but can live with that" and 10 = "Over my dead cold body", how would I rate this issue?
- Is there any part I can overlook? What points of compromise can I make?
- What old wound is this triggering? Is this conflict a repeat of a similar one I have had before, maybe with someone else? What feelings are coming up? Are the intensity of my feelings in proportion to the situation?
- What unreasonable expectations do I have for the other person, or for the relationship?
- What assumptions have I made about the other person and their motives that I need to check out with them?
- What questions do I need to ask the other person? Could additional information about their past, other circumstances, their feelings, hurts, hopes and dreams help me understand them better and be more empathetic?
- How am I thinking only of myself and not considering the needs and desires of others? Have I considered how I have impacted those around me in negative or hurtful ways?
- How much am I being motivated by fear? Bitterness? Selfishness? Pride? Impatience? Am I being judgmental? Perfectionist? Maybe just not minding my own business?
- What boundary must I establish in order to make this relationship work again? Sometimes we are dealing with a wicked person who can derail our relationship with Christ and His purpose for our life. Sometimes we need to forgive but walk away to have peace. We need for pray for wisdom to see that clearly -- not just jump to that conclusion. Even in that case, we still must examine our own heart.
Before we engage to resolve conflict, we can come to our heavenly Father first and examine our heart to discover our blindspots. Even if the relationship cannot or should not be restored, we can count on the Holy Spirit to empower us to forgive and find peace.
Father, help me to stop and pray and examine my own heart, to be the first to confess my faults and in this way bring You glory. You desire peace and unity! I trust You will give me all the wisdom and courage I need.