by Rick Warren
“There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)
When you have conflict in your life, focus on reconciliation, not resolution. There’s a big difference in those two words. Reconciliation means re-establishing the relationship. Resolution means resolving every issue.
Resolution probably isn’t going to happen, because you’re never going to agree on some things. Nobody on this planet agrees with you about everything, so you’re never going to have resolution on all your issues.
Can you have a loving relationship without agreeing on everything? Of course you can. If you learn to disagree without being disagreeable, that’s called wisdom. If you learn that you can have unity without uniformity, that’s called wisdom. If you learn to walk hand in hand without having to see eye to eye, that’s called wisdom.
You don’t have to agree on every issue to come to reconciliation. If you focus on the relationship and not the issues, you’re going to find that some of the issues you’re arguing over are just not that important. Some things just aren’t worth arguing about. You need to let it go!
One of the greatest things you can do with your life is be a bridge builder, not a wall builder. You are most like Jesus Christ when you are reconciling people. You are most like Jesus when you’re building bridges, not walls. That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! He’s the great reconciler. God sent Jesus to Earth to reconcile us because we are in conflict with God.
It’s always more rewarding to resolve the conflict than to dissolve the relationship. It’s not easier, but it’s more rewarding. There are people in your life you want to just wash your hands of because the struggle is not worth it. You can do that, but you don’t get any rewards in Heaven for that. You don’t get any joy on Earth for that. You don’t get any character growth and development for that. It’s always more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship.
But you cannot make peace with other people until you make peace with God. And maybe that’s part of the problem — you’re not at peace with yourself because you’re not at peace with God. First you’ve got to make peace with God. Then you get the peace of God.
1 Timothy 2:5 says, “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (NIV).
That’s the starting point: You need to get peace in your heart by letting the Prince of Peace inside.
Would you pray this to God in your heart? “God, you know the conflict in my life. I’m tired of it, and I want to make peace. I want to have your peace in my life so I can offer peace to others. So I accept your peace today. I open my life to you as best as I know how. Fill my life with love, not anger, and with patience, joy, and peace. Come in and fill every area of my life with your peace, and help me to be a bridge builder and not a wall builder. Help me to take the initiative and not wait on that other person. Help me to find the right time and place, and then help me to have the courage to confess my part of the conflict and to be humble. Instead of attacking the person, help me attack the problem. Help me to consider the other person’s perspective. Help me to speak the truth, fix the problem and not the blame, and to focus on reconciliation instead of resolving all the disagreements. I ask this in your name. Amen.”