I’ve been reading a little booklet by Ken Sande’s Peacemaker Ministries, and it’s got some useful stuff. I read the first section today. It began looking at peacemaking by discussing conflict not as the problem, but as an opportunity to glorify God. Sin is the problem and conflict can be an opportunity for growth and repentance if it is handled in a God-glorifying way. The substance of the booklet will be to examine how to do this. I think it’s based on Ken’s book, The Peacemaker.
Another related issue is that peace is not the absence of conflict. This is the conception most of us use functionally in our daily lives, and it’s the conception underlying most struggles for peace. The truth is that if peace were the absence of conflict, none of us could have peace here and now because conflict will always happen. Peace is part of the work of God within His people. God enables them to have peace in the midst of conflict, and also to achieve peace with others through conflict resolution. This conflict resolution involves beginning by seeing conflict as an opportunity to obey and glorify God, humbling myself and acknowledging my contribution to the problem. This acknowledgement isn’t merely a formality but a spiritual discipline that must change my perspective on the conflict and on the contributions of others to it.