When you look at the life and ministry of Jesus, one thing you see is that he assumes conflict. He says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” What need is there for peacemakers if there is no conflict! Conflict is implied. The questions is: How will we deal with it?
At Mercy Hill, we take peacemaking seriously, so we have put a stake down and said, “By God’s grace, our relationships will be different. How we handle conflict will be different. We want to prepare for those times when conflict comes (and it will) by developing into our DNA a ‘culture of peace’ that reflects God’s peace and the power of the gospel of Christ in our lives. We want to say to one another that gossip, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and broken relationships are not appropriate for the people whom God has reconciled to himself through the sacrifice of his only Son.”
The sermon last Sunday unpacked this theme. Click the link to listen to Developing a Culture of Peace. A resource Pastor Craig referenced that has influenced his own understanding of biblical peacemaking is The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. The Peacemaker’s Ministry website is packed with helpful resources as well. http://www.peacemaker.net.