Disagreements are a part of life, and as Christians, we all want to resolve conflict in a Christlike manner. This short book by Pastor Tony Merida is chock full of good advice for doing that. In fact, conflict can actually be seen as an opportunity to show God’s grace and grow personally.
First of all, the greatest problem in every conflict is: YOU! Conflict with God and others came into the world with sin, and it’s still going on. The book of James tells us:
“What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from you passions that wage war within you? You desire and you do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war.” James 41-2
The internal war with sin within us eventually leads us into conflict with others as we seek to satisfy our own desires.
The author walks us through these steps to peacemaking.
*Me-First–is there a log in my own eye?
*Minor–Is the offense a minor one that I could and should overlook?
*Major–Does this offense require the purpose of restoration (as outlined in the Bible)?
*Material–Does this offense require restitution related to property, money or other rights?
*Mediation–Does this offense call for the help of another party to assist in peacemaking?
Above all, love should prevail. Pastor Merida states that we should take the commandment to love expressed by Jesus in John 15, as seriously as we take the commandments to refrain from murder or adultery. Christian love is a sign of maturity, and most conflicts are easier to resolve when we’ve already demonstrated love over time to that person.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. The advice given is clear, concise and Biblical. The author takes pains to say that he is a pastor, not a counselor or therapist, and he does not address the problem of abuse. I would recommend it.
The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.
For more book reviews see these posts:
The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John C. Maxwell–Book Review
Spiritual Formation by Henri Nouwen–Book Review
Discernment by Henri Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird–Book Review