Cleaning out the bag I took to Chicago with me last month, I came across a pamphlet I had picked up at the Christian Legal Society annual meeting from Peacemaker Ministries, an organization that seeks to “equip and assist Christians and their churches to respond to conflict biblically.” It is a great follow-up to my thoughts of yesterday.
The pamphlet included things like The Seven A’s of Confession, The Four Promises of Forgiveness. The one that got its own page, however, was The 4G’s of Peacmaking. The 4G’s, all biblically based, are: Glorify God, Get the Log out of Your Eye, Gently Restore, and Go and be Reconciled.
Glorify God: an important first step that reminds us of our dependence on God’s “forgiveness, wisdom, power and love.” It is so easy for us to think of our role and our plan; it is good to begin by reminding ourselves that it is God’s plan we seek to fulfill, and that we can only do so with God’s grace.
Get the Log out of Your Eye: We all know that expression from the Gospels, yet it is still all too easy for us to blame others for a conflict. This G asks us to take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts.
Gently Restore: Gently is the first word my eye landed on when I opened the brochure to the 4G’s page. We can sometimes go in like gangbusters and the reminder to gentleness is a good one. But it is gently restore, which also reminds us that our task is neither to pretend that conflict doesn’t exist or to condemn, but rather to restore.
Go and Be Reconciled: “Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing a relationship to wither,” both of which are all too easy to do in the face of conflict, “we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation,” which means forgiving and seeking mutually beneficial solutions.
Think of what the world could look like if we all committed ourselves to these principles of conflict resolution.