This Sunday is Conciliation Anniversary Sunday at Orlando Grace. We will mark the 11th anniversary of a reconciliation service hosted by our leadership in the aftermath of the last major conflict endured by our church. As always, I will preach on biblical conflict resolution. The title of the message is What Peacemaking People Do. If you wish to preview the text for prayerful preparation, see 1 Thessalonians 5:9-15.
This time of year also makes for a fitting review of the helpful Peacemaker’s Pledge brought to us from the excellent folks at Peacemaker Ministries. I include it here for our edification. Please consider giving it another or perhaps first-time careful and prayerful reading as we head into this weekend of remembering at OGC.
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict. We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ. Therefore, in response to God’s love and in reliance on his grace, we commit ourselves to respond to conflict according to the following principles:
Glorify God — Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love, as we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude.
Get the Log out of Your Eye — Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts—confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused.
Gently Restore — Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.
Go and be reconciled — Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation—forgiving others as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.
By God’s grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that conflict is an assignment, not an accident. We will remember that success in God’s eyes is not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience. And we will pray that our service as peacemakers will bring praise to our Lord and lead others to know His infinite love.
As we mark another year of relative conflict-free peace within our assembly, may we recommit ourselves to this pledge and continue to cultivate a culture of peace for the glory of God and our great joy.