In the coming days I am sure I will have several blog entries on The Peace Maker. The main reason for this is that it is so needed today not only in our society, but in our churches and homes. The way most “Christians” deal with conflict in home, church or the workplace is no different than an atheist will deal with it, in fact sometimes “church people” deal with it worse! (Notice I said “church people” not believers). However, true believers should have a passion for peace; they should have a desire to want the best, hope the best, and believe the best. As we have seen in Jude, we should not have peace at all costs - we should not have peace at the expense of compromise with sin and doctrine! But even when dealing with those issues we should handle them differently than the world deals with conflict or opposing viewpoints. As I passed by our refrigerator the other day (or as we tend to call it in the south: “fridge”) I once again stopped to take notice of something I had printed and put up for all to see (especially our family). It is something that is found in Ken Sande’s The Peace Maker, and I wanted to highlight it for you today. Write these down, cut and past them from this blog, but do something with this to enable your family to remember these truths when apologizing - and just so you know, if you have other people in your house, you are going to need to apologize quite often, and it can only help us when done properly. Below you will see what is printed out for our family:
The Seven A’s Of Confession:1. Address Everyone Involved
2. Avoid If, But and Maybe—Is this how we would confess to Christ?
3. Admit Specifically--- “ “ “ “
4. Accept the Consequences
5. Alter Your Behavior—Ephesians 4:31-32
6. Ask Forgiveness
7. Allow Time
I have found when this is practiced correctly, forgiveness is available from those who love Christ. This is so crucial in a world today – a world that refuses to accept responsibility for anything and will not only blame others for their wickedness, rebellion or hard heart, but bring God into the equation to justify what they do or how they feel. We serve a God who has not called us to be hateful, vengeful, or to return evil for evil - this is the life of a lost man. We should always be ready to overlook an offense and when we wrong someone else, we should be ready to live out these “Seven A’s”! If we would just take this seriously and apply these principles, they will enable us to glorify God even during conflict.