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Four Principles and Questions for Conflict Resolution Conversations

Ken Sande is an attorney and the president and founder of Peacemaker Ministries. He has helped hundreds of churches and ministers overcome disputes and resolve conflict by using biblical peacemaking principles and questions. Summarized in his classic book, The Peacemaker, Sande’s Four G’s provide a simple yet comprehensive approach to resolving any type of conflict.

 The Peacemaker’s Four G’s For Guiding Conflict Resolution Conversations

FIRST G: Glorify God.

 Biblical peacemaking is motivated and guided by a deep desire to bring honor to God by putting into practice the teachings and reconciling power of Jesus Christ. Drawing on this power can free us from impulsive, hurtful and self-centered decisions.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11:1

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jew, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everybody in every way.  For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.  Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

 Key Question: How can I please and honor God in this situation?

 SECOND G: Get The Log Our Of Your Eye.

 Jesus teaches us to look in the mirror and face up to our own contributions to a conflict before we focus on the behaviors of others. When we honestly admit our own faults, our adversaries will often respond in kind and open the door for sincere discussion and reconciliation.

Matthew 7:3-5

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 Key Question: How can I show Jesus’ work in me by taking responsibility for my contribution to this conflict?

 THIRD G: Gently Restore.

 At times we need to graciously show others their faults when they fail to see their contributions to a conflict. If they refuse to respond appropriately, Jesus calls us to involve church leaders or other objective individuals who can help restore peace.

Galatians 6:1

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.

 Key Question: How can I lovingly serve others by helping them take responsibility for their contribution to this conflict?

 FOURTH G: Go And Be Reconciled.

 Finally, biblical peacemaking involves a commitment to restore relationships and come to just and fair resolutions of conflict. When we genuinely forgive others and seek mutually satisfying solutions, chances increase for a lasting peace.

Matthew 5:24

First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

 Key Question: How can I demonstrate the forgiveness of God and encourage a reasonable solution to this conflict?

Conflict robs our lives, homes, workplaces and churches of immeasurable, time, money, energy and our Christian witness. Learning to use these Four G’s can turn conflict into an opportunity to build relationships, further the mission of the church and become a testimony to the power, love and grace of God.

Posted on July 19, 2016

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5