Recommended Resource: RESOLVING EVERYDAY CONFLICT
written by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson
Review by Doug Loveday
I love this little book. Our church staff just finished reading and discussing it. We all found it very practical and biblical.
Conflict is such a normal part of life; at home, at work, and in the church. What! Even in the church? In spite of Jesus’ prayer for our unity in His Body, a church can be poisoned by disagreement and conflict. So tell me something I don’t know.
This little book (Did I say it was little? 107 pages) gives us another way of handling conflict, a way we can use throughout our lives at home, at church, everywhere. It presents a biblical approach to reconciliation that can turn anger into harmony. Conflict is an opportunity to practice the Gospel. God can empower us to bring the Good News of Jesus into a situation of conflict and see real reconciliation happen.
Ken Sande writes about the causes of conflict. He warns about the tragic results of unresolved conflict. Probably we all have our own illustrations here. And he leads us to see that godly reconciliation is worth our greatest effort. We are called to this. ” Make every Effort (strive eagerly, earnestly, diligently) to guard the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” Ephesians 4:3.
I love how this conflict resolution process is Gospel-centred. God’s approach begins with us understanding how graciously He treats us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we fully receive the mercy of the God of the universe, it can’t help but flow out to others. This is the Vertical and Horizontal flow of the Gospel.
How do you respond to conflict? Some of us love it. We run toward it like a lion. Others of us run away. We escape like a turtle pulling our heads into our shell. In the biblical approach, God calls us to be peacemakers, entering into conflict to glorify God, serve others and become more like Jesus.
So it comes down to this: Four questions answered by four G’s.
1. How can I focus on God in this conflict? G1: Glorify God
2. How can I own my own part in this conflict? G2: Get the log out of my eye
3. How can I help others own their part in this conflict? G3: Gently restore
4. How can I give forgiveness and help reach a reasonable solution?
G4: Go and be reconciled
Each question and answer gets a chapter. These are very helpful, each one digging deeper into the practical outworking of the principle. I love the quote on unforgiveness. “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink, hoping the other person will die” We all desire harmony in our relationships. I’ll bet we all see the extreme importance of Jesus’ prayer for our unity. Resolving Everyday Conflict is a practical, biblical and concise guide to peacemaking in everyday life that can turn troubled relationships into peaceful ones, all to the glory of our great God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God. Matthew 5:9
O LORD, bless and use these beautiful Truths to heal Your church and help us to Adorn the Gospel of our great Lord Jesus. – Doug
Doug Loveday is a former VMC board member who now ministers as a full-time staff member with VMC as a “pastor to pastors.” Previous to his current role, Doug was senior pastor at Community Bible Church (CBC) in Lucan, Ontario for 23 years.