The sermon I preached yesterday is posted at our church’s websitewasecachurch.org.

This sermon series comes from Ken Sande’s book “The Peacemaker”. Sande’s book is an exceptional text covering Christian conflict resolution.

Gently Restore

GAL 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Talking to other people about a conflict is usually an unpleasant experience. We often let tensions build to the exploding pint and then confront people with a list of their wrongs. Anyone else ever done that? This causes the other person to become defensive and to react with a list of our own wrongs – yep, that unfortunately sounds familiar too. This of course often leads to a painful battle of words of who did what and who wronged who, how and when. This never turns out good, it is like adding fuel to the fire of conflict.

The gospel opens the door for an entirely different approach to talking to others about their role in a conflict. Remembering God’s mercy towards us, we can approach others in a spirit of love rather than condemnation. And instead of using guilt and shame to force others to change their ways, we can breathe grace into them by showing to them the wonderful news that God wants them to be free from their sinful attitudes or actions.

Matthew 18:15 says: If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people. One of the most challenging ways to serve others in the midst of conflict is to help them to see where they have been wrong and need to change. Although many offenses can and should be overlooked, some problems are so harmful that they must be discussed. This is of course tricky and delicate work, but if done with a Godly attitude it can be done in life changing ways. Today I hope to give you some tools, some guidelines on when and how you should go and talk privately to another person about his or her contribution to a conflict.

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