OGC made the local paper not long ago.
Someone sent this little ditty into the Ticked Off section a few weeks back.
A sign that says “The Future Home of the Orlando Grace Church” has been posted on Maitland Avenue in Altamonte Springs across from St. Mary Magdalene Church for at least 38 years now. How much longer do we have to wait?
I have to admit. At first I wondered if someone from OGC put that in the paper! Just kidding, sort of.
No matter who submitted it, I sincerely hope no one will have to wait much longer for us to get into a facility, certainly not another 38 years (don’t you just love sarcasm?). But this post doesn’t concern building programs and God’s providence for when a project of that magnitude gets off the ground and when it doesn’t. This post is about peacemaking, constructive peacemaking, in particular.
I HATE this section of our paper. Nothing about anonymous griping and grousing over anybody or anything promotes constructive peacemaking when someone gets ticked off. That’s peacebreaking, even peacefaking at its worst.
Peacemaking, the biblical kind, governed by the principles and constraints of scripture, is constructive in every way and commended by God (Matt. 5:9).
I decided to write about this for a couple of other reasons beyond the snipe in the paper.
First, someone recently confronted me about a beef they had with me. They honestly shared their feelings in a calm and constructive fashion. The first words out my mouth were, “Thank you for telling me. This gives us an assignment from God to do biblical peacemaking to the glory of God.” And we did. We prayed. We talked. God was honored. The relationship was restored. Confessions were made (by me too). I emailed the party after the fact and thanked them again for loving me well as a constructive peacemaker. May their tribe increase!
Second, I just finished teaching on peacemaking in our new member’s class. I am not sure why, but I think it might be my favorite session. Probably because of the practical value of the content and its enormous importance to the peace and purity of our church.
In the class I cover the 4 G’s of biblical peacemaking as outlined by Ken Sande in his book, The Peacemaker. Do you have them memorized? I pray you do. They have saved my pastoral keister in more than one conflict. Here is a quick refresher.
- Glorify God – determine to conduct yourself in the conflict in a way that honors God from first to last (1 Cor. 10:31).
- Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye – examine your own contribution to the conflict and admit any sins/faults you contributed along the way (Matt. 7:3-5).
- Gently Restore – engage the conflict with a view toward another’s restoration all the while moving through the various steps with a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1-2; Matt. 18:15-17).
- Go and Be Reconciled – pursue the complete restoration of the relationship through the practice of biblical forgiveness (Eph. 4:31-32).
So the next time you get ticked off (and we all do), what will you do? Determine to be a constructive biblical peacemaker. I for one will rise up and call you blessed.