THE ART OF MAKING PEACE

To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you—Lewis B. Smedes

Living with people can be a lot as it comes with possible misunderstandings because of our individual differences. These differences can lead to fights, tensions and conflicts which may sometimes not be avoidable . As we avoid the ones we can, we must also learn to resolve the ones we aren’t able to avoid. Conflict resolution is an art that needs to be mastered and a responsibility for every believer. The very first step in conflict resolution is to forgive. Among the many things Jesus Christ came to teach was  the art of forgiveness and peaceful leaving because he knew we will need it to live peacefully with each other.  Unfortunately, people go around with anger and bitterness from what happened days, weeks, fortnight, months and years ago. Forgiveness can be a big and heavy thing to contemplate, whether you are desiring it for someone who has hurt you or asking of it from someone else. However, it is a necessary action you need to take to bring peace and growth and live a valued life.

 

Forgiveness is such an important tool in our constant growth in life. When we forgive, we let go. When we let go, we create space for more wonderful, positive, new experiences in life. Treat others the way you want to be treated.  If we want to be forgiven, then we must forgive. Matthew 6:14 reads for if we forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you.

Forgiveness is an extension of Love and a key to Freedom. When we forgive, we free ourselves and the other person.  When we hold onto regret and bitterness towards ourselves and others, we hold back in life and we build walls so that we only see glimpses of love. We all deserve love, compassion, understanding and forgiveness.

Romans 12:16-21 gives a perfect summary of the subject of forgiveness and living in peace with one another. It echoes what power there is in peaceful leaving and bearing each other’s pain

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Also learn to say sorry when the other party is offended whether you are at fault or not. Sorry does not always mean you are wrong or defeated, it also mean you want peace more than an arguement and more than being right. You need to learn how to address the misunderstandings that comes up . Unless the other party isn’t interested in making peace, you should always try to control the situation so it does not flare up. Control yourself, don’t try to control how other people feel or act, you can’t. Control your anger, your tongue and your actions when dealing with people. It’s the best way to control conflicts and also avoid them(Proverbs 14:29).

One thing we should know is everyone believes they are right in a misunderstanding, so most times the the best thing is to move on and not  apportion blames.

Making peace with people is the wisest thing to do, it gives you peace.

The question many people ask is, do I have to be friends with them again?

Well I will answer it this way, so long as you don’t habour bitterness and hurt in your heart for them, it’s fine. Don’t hate them, don’t pay them back and don’t resent them.

This week, I ask that you become intentional of living your life without the heavy baggage from the past, the negative emotions that are no longer serving you, and the fear that is keeping you stuck. Note you are not in any way forgetting that you were hurt, betrayed, or suffered difficult times nor pretending as if they didn’t happen. But you are beginning an incredibly important deep self-work and healing from your past, the mind of forgiveness and letting go of the past. Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry. Holding onto anger only hurts you, not them.

Remember people are God’s gift to us all. Pray for your friends  ask God to help you live with them peacefully. As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

 

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