From Conflict to Peace: The Heart of Peace (February 13, 2016)

PDF "Heart of Judgement or Heart of Grace"

These are seven ideas for your meditation in the following week. I suggest you use them as a springboard for examining the people and situations of your own life by reflecting on them, writing down your thoughts, or talking them over with someone.

1.    We are never more at risk of hate and anger than when we are certain we are right. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Mt 7:5

2.    God’s radical love and acceptance of me is the reason I care about others more than about their flaws and failures. “We love because He first loved us.” I Jn 4:19

3.    Lack of peace with others is a symptom of my lack of peace with God. “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” I Jn 4:20-21

4.    Pray for those you have the most conflict with, and when you pray, pray the heart of God, imagining what God wants for them. “You have heart it said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the god, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Mt 5:43-45

5.    Conflict is an opportunity to show why God has made a difference in our lives. “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Jn 13:35

6.    Self-justification is the essence of self-deceit. We blame others rather than acknowledging our own flaws. Worst of all, we are usually unaware of what we are doing. "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jer 17:9

7.    Our confidence doesn’t have to be based on our own comparative goodness. It can be based on our trust in God. “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Ps 34:5

Recommended Reading: The Anatomy of Peace, by The Arbinger Institute