(This is a repost from my personal blog …)
Yesterday was a particularly great day for me—at first.
We still had friends over from a sleepover and the crafts, creative play, and laughs were rolling right along. My husband, Fred, and I were communicating well, working as a team, and enjoying each other. I was greatly edified by my time in the Word and prayer. And I was enjoying meeting all sorts of new people due to The Gospel Coalition’s generous retweet of our family’s $100 in peacemaking resources giveaway.
Ahhhh … grace, the gospel, unity in relationships. Hooray!
But then. Then I received a call from a dear friend in my church who was facing a particularly painful and difficult conflict in our church. She had left a voicemail and since I was in such a promoting-of-peacemaking place, my first instinct was to, of course, ignore the call and not deal with it.
Nice, eh? Can you say peace-faking on the ol’ Slippery Slope of Conflict? That was me. But thankfully, God pressed into my heart and crushed my bones as in the day of summer (Psalm 32:3-4). I repented of my selfishness and called my friend.
It was a hard call, but a good one. By the end we were both rejoicing in all that God has done for us through the finished work of Christ. Our friendship had deepened. And we had a plan for how she was going to address this difficult relationship:
- Pray and praise
- Remember the gospel
- Never gossip; always think about that which is good, true, noble, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy
- Do good (to those who hate her), bless (those who curse her), love (even her enemy)
- Reach out for help to her elder and our church’s peacemaking team
- Pray some more
I’m so glad that God gave me the grace to repent, make the call, and serve. What a privilege it is to play even a tiny role in promoting “the unity of the saints through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
For the glory of the Lamb,
One thing I reviewed before I made the call was my absolute favorite CCEF article: Helping “Difficult” People in Your Church. I wish I could staple that thing to my forehead until I have internalized all of its wisdom.