Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Peacemakers Glorify God

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

We live in a society that is very busy and demanding. Thus if we allow, it will grasp every moment of our lives, our energy, and our time. Living in these conditions requires from us to be close to God and be aware of His words, commandments, and our relationship with Him.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Being a true peacemaker is a blessing from God. This type of person will not only have the ability to speak to others in a loving, kind, constructive, and persuasive manner in order to gain their respect and his input in the matter but also honor God in everything he does and invite others to be tolerant to others.

"'Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.'" (Matthew 18:15-17).

Conflict is not evidence of destruction and serious problems but on the contrary can be a healthy environment that is full of different opinions, individuality, different perspectives, and many levels of desires. And if properly handled, it can bring many creative thinking, healthy changes, and constructive dialogues and that will make life more exciting and interesting.

"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?" (James 4:1).

Some responses towards conflict involve ego and self-centeredness. Te people involved tend to:

  • Be more interested in winning than reserving the relationship
  • View it as a contest, they are eager to prove their points
  • Be full of intimidation with verbal and physical violence
  • Have no remorse and they can extend up to litigation

Also some responses towards conflict can be very damaging if left ignored, in denial or even faking peace.

"bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" (Colossians 3:13).

Therefore before dealing with all conflict situations we must:

  • Pray for God's grace and wisdom
  • Remember that His words are much more precious than our rights
  • Agree that resentment and rage will not win, on the contrary will be an obstacle for a healthy relationship
  • Overlook an insignificant offence by forgiving
  • Conduct a proper negotiation process that can be effective all the way to end the conflict and satisfies everyone
  • Admit our wrong doing which will help the situation to be reconciled

God is pleased when we honor Him by offering sacrifice, loving correction, restore peace and unity, and He will bless us with many heavenly blessings when we submit to His will for us.

"but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:15-16).

There are different ways in dealing with conflicts that will help both sides to see the situation in a positive respect such as:

  • Finding out what the scripture commanded by learning a similar situation in the Holy Bible. Our Lord Jesus Christ's approach did not focus on rebuking or dwelling on faults but rather on bringing the good news of God's forgiveness and mercy. That will open the door to repentance and awareness to God's ways and plans.

  • Listening carefully to what others like to say and give understanding to their opinions before speaking. That will help create an atmosphere of respect to others' opinions and feelings and create better communication.

  • Clarifying what others have said shows that you are attentive to their needs and interested to learn further information. Will help the others to open up to you and respect your input.

  • Encouraging the others to share their emotion by showing concern, motivation, and feelings.

  • Summarizing on what has been said in constructive ways and focus on specific points; without agreeing or disagreeing with what has been said.

  • Always beginning with acknowledging the agreeable points and then initiating a meaningful dialogue concerning the disagreeable part.

  • Resisting any temptation to blame or defend; rather focus on common ground as a way to awaken a sign of wisdom and spirituality in others.

  • Giving a similar example of how people admit their wrong and respond with genuine humility to keep peace might encourage them to admit some of their wrong and accepting responsibility for the problem.

"Therefore 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.'Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:20-21).

Although many conflicts requires a lot of time and effort in order to be resolved, having a peacemaker gives an opportunity for others to reconcile in a peaceful manner and helps teaching them that working through the situation and learning how to compromise and overcome the offence can be a working tool for helping any conflict or situation lay in life ahead to be resolved.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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