The In’s and Out’s of Conflict

Read: Genesis 33

Conflict is something that we often try to avoid.  If a wrong has been committed and two sides are at odds they often will go to extreme lengths to try and avoid each other.  While conflict is usually not a healthy thing it can at times provide a wonderful opportunity for healing and restoration between two people.  Those times of healing and restoration can bring much needed contentment and peace to both involved.

Jonathan Sacks once said, “As long as there is conflict within us there will be conflict around us.”  The opposite of that can be true as well,  as long as there is conflict around us there is often conflict within us.”  In Genesis 33 we read the story of when Jacob approached his brother Esau after a long bitter family dispute.  Jacob had taken Esau’s blessing from their father and now years later they are about to meet again.

Jacob had gifts prepared for Esau and his family in hopes of a peaceful meeting.  He prayed that God would save him and his family from the retaliation of Esau.  Then in chapter 33 the meeting takes place.  As Esau approaches Jacob bows down to the ground seven times.  To Jacob’s surprise Esau comes running to greet him with a hug and a brotherly kiss.  Verse 4 says that they wept together over this new found peace and restoration between them.

This story reminds us that restoration takes place when at least one of the people involved in the conflict humbly goes to the other to make things right.  If the other person desires a restored relationship you often end up with peace and contentment on both sides.  If the other person refuses to have grace and forgive then we must move on with the realization that we have done what we could and God will bless us for our efforts at making peace and making things right.

There is truth that we will have more inner peace if we work at making peace with those in which we have conflict.  Nothing feels better than restoring a broken relationship and forgiving another person.  It is the same thing that we have received from  Jesus Christ.  Our sin causes conflict in our relationship with God, but Jesus died on the cross so that our conflict could be resolved and our relationship with God restored.  Praise the Lord!

Make it Personal:  Who comes to mind as you read this meditation today?  God is placing them on your heart for a reason.  Pray that the Lord will help you mend that relationship and bring restoration.  Pray that Christ will also forgive you of your sins and restore your relationship with God to its rightful place.

Be Restored This Week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church