This has been a very tumultuous time for us here in Minnesota with the Derek Chauvin trial, the riots in Brooklyn Center, the frustration over the ongoing pandemic and the political climate that is creating all sorts of division amongst people, within families and throughout our communities, state and nation.
The question becomes, amidst all this conflict is peace possible?
In the book "Resolving Everyday Conflict," Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson state that there are three ways to respond to conflict: escape, attack or make peace.
In a message I gave on April 25, I argued that the only appropriate response Christians should have, if we are truly Christ following people, is to be peace makers.
Escaping, or trying to avoid conflict, is not an option, nor does it work because conflict is inevitable in our world.
Attacking, which has become very popular today, especially through social media comments and posts, is also something that is not appropriate for us to do. James makes this clear when he repeatedly admonishes us to “tame our tongues,” or in today’s context that would also be to “tame our thumbs!”
The behavior we need to be engaging in, when in time of conflict like this, is peace making whereby:
We are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
We love unconditionally. (I Peter 4:8, John 13:34-35, 15:12)
We hate no one. (Proverbs 10:12, Romans 12:9-10)
We forgive repeatedly. (Matthew 18:21-22)
Strive for peace with everyone. (Hebrews 12:14)
Did you know that 74% of Minnesotan’s claim to be Christians? Imagine if 74% of Minnesotans would be actively working to be peace makers, following these things above, rather than being escapers or attackers. Peace would then be possible!
Join us in-person for worship on Sunday at 9 or 10:30 a.m. or via livestream at 10:30 a.m. on our Crosslake Worship YouTube Channel. Also, checkout my podcast at www.herewego.fm where I cover a variety of topics, including some great interviews.
Mark Holmen is pastor at the Crosslake Log Church.