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The Slippery Slope of Peacemaking

In my message this past weekend on working through conflict in relationships, I mentioned the “slippery slope of peacemaking” developed by Ken Sande, author of The Peacemaker and Resolving Everyday Conflict. There are a variety of ways we can respond to conflict in our lives. Sande highlights a spectrum of dealing with conflict and seeking peace. The the top of the slope is where we want to be in proactively dealing with conflict by making peace. The extremes are the tendencies we move toward as we slip off the path of pursuing peace in our conflicts.

slope

I summarized Sande’s “slippery slope” around three ideas:

1. Peace-faking by avoiding or escaping conflict. This is typified in the life of Jacob who steals his brother’s birthright, deceives his father and then flees from the conflict by hiding with his uncle, Laban (see Genesis 28). The problem with avoiding or escaping from conflict is that, except in extreme circumstances, it puts us into greater difficulties than before and we still have to deal with the conflict in the end.

2. Peace-breaking by attacking others in response to conflict. We find this in brunt reality when Cain is incensed by God’s favor toward his brother Abel. In rage, he kills his brother Abel instead of actually trying to work through the tensions with Abel or with God (see Genesis 4).

3. Peace-making by choosing a pathway toward resolving conflict and bringing deep peace. This happens when we live into the realities of the gospel of peace (see Ephesians 2) and make the statement of James our motto: “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” ( (James 3:18).

You can read a much more detailed description of the slippery slope at Ken Sande’s web-site here.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Relationships

 

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Working through Conflict in Relationships (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message on working through conflict in relationships from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church as part of our series on relationships entitled “Made for It.”

Discussion Questions:

1.     When was a time that you faced tremendous conflict in relationships? How did you resolve it? If it didn’t resolve, then what did you do?

2.     As we conclude our series, “Made for It,” we are entering the messy waters of conflict in relationships. Before you begin your study, ask God to speak to you through your study of the Scripture.

3.     In Genesis the purity of the Garden of Eden is quickly tarnished by sin and evil. Read Genesis 3 and 4. Reflect on why and how conflict erupts in these first few chapters of the Bible? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Eastbrook, Scripture reflections

 

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||40days|| week six: live in peace

Have you ever felt worried or distressed? Right, I know, that’s a ridiculous question because we have all felt worry and distress. Today, as we continue our ||40days|| journey, we want to follow Jesus into a life marked by peace. The Bible is not far away from these real experiences of our lives. In fact, the writer of Psalm 4 expresses thoughts we all could likely relate to:

Answer me when I call to You, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 4:1)

Where do you turn to find peace in these times? Often, we turn to friends or family for support, or look to distractions like television or reading a book. In Psalm 4, we are directed in another way. the psalmist instructs us in the way we should turn in our distress.

God’s Strong Presence
First of all, the psalmist shows us to whom we should turn. ‘Of course,’ you might say, ‘you are going to say that I should turn to God.’ Yes, that is true, but it is not enough of the truth in this case. The psalmist says that Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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||40days|| week two: acknowledge our fears

When Matthew tells the story of Jesus walking on water, the main theme of the episode is that Jesus is the Son of God whom it is entirely appropriate to worship. He tells us: “Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’ ” (Matthew 14:33).

But if that is the main theme, a sub-theme of that story centers on the fears bubbling up in Jesus’ followers. For them, seeing Jesus do this miraculous water-walk is a fearful experience. “When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear” (14:26). In response, Jesus speaks words to them that are aimed at eliminating their fears: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (14:27). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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Saturday Prayer 21

My mind races ahead
and lurches forward
Like a fly trapped inside a house
it leaps and rushes from one thought
to another

I want to be still
and know
that You are God
But at the same time
I check my watch
and think about what’s next

Bring me to a place of peace
before You and in You, Lord
Help me to cast my cares upon You
and experience Your peace
that guards my heart and mind

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in prayers

 

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