“Let there be no strife between you and me” (Genesis 13:8 NKJV).
These were Abram’s kind words to Lot. He wanted no quarrelling between them, and suggested a way they could part peacefully, even giving Lot his choice of the “lots”! (v. 9).
When someone misunderstands, criticizes, or accuses you, what do you do? Sometimes we just want peace at any cost. So we become robots, just coasting along, not rocking the boat. Just smooth sailing, not stirring the waters. Walking on eggshells. Doing whatever it takes to keep the peace. That is unhealthy. We should never settle for peace at the expense of principle.
Neither should we compromise at the expense of honesty and humility just to bring peace to the forefront. Quieting the surface when the depths are still stormy will only lead to more conflict. In fact, false peace—dishonesty—is even more dangerous than an open fight because the problems have been covered beneath the surface. When our genuine feelings are repressed, hurt and resentment get buried in the pretention that all is well.
At times, it is necessary to take the initiative. Abraham didn’t hesitate to get involved because he realized that it had the potential to drive a wedge between them if he procrastinated. Foresight is needed to build lasting relationships.
Abraham knew it was time to exit with grace, not contention. When God gives us grace, He wants us to show it to others, to be peacemakers, reconcilers. The Bible calls this the ministry of reconciliation. And we need not worry about getting short-changed because God will make it up to us—His way, in His time.
Love challenges our opposition to be a better person, which often makes the conflict worse as he may feel uncomfortable, threatened, or out of control.
The calmness and gentleness of the Lord Jesus when they arrested and tried Him must have infuriated His enemies, so they had no alternative but to kill Him. As we seek to be peacemakers, people will treat us mercilessly, at times, as they did Jesus.
They may hurl stones, but the peacemaker builds a bridge out of the stones. Rather than avoiding battle, they learn to transform the conflict into a ministry of reconciliation through dialogue and gentle confrontation, a kind heart and loving deeds. Matters must be settled quickly with our adversaries.
The world cannot clearly see the Prince of Peace unless Christians are at peace with one another.
The wars and fights within the church
Disrupt our unity and peace;
How can we show the peace of Christ
Unless our conflicts cease? -Sper