The Peacemaker Project
“Conflict Resolution is an essential element of life, but a task filled with so many diverse issues, that not many can engage in it without feeling a bit unprepared. Through the grace of God we have been given a wonderful ministry of reconciliation and direct commands to live at peace with others”. (Nemitz, 2013) In 1 Corinthians 10:31, the Apostle Paul teaches that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, to serve others, and to grow to be like Christ. This concern for faithfulness to God, compassion and mercy towards others, and righteous behavior is echoed throughout Scripture. In Michah 6:8 we are told, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” (Holy Bible, NIV). As we live out the gospel and make the Lord’s priorities, our own priorities, we can turn every conflict into a stepping stone to a closer relationship with God and a more fulfilling and fruitful Christian life as we have been called to do by Christ. Part 1 - Glorify God
Conflict Provides Opportunities
Let me start off by giving you a brief overview of the conflict that I was involved in. The personal conflict situation I was involved with occurred with a co-worker at the beginning of the 2012 – 2013 school year. I am an administrator at the New York State School for the Deaf. I oversee the entire residential portion of our school. I have been in this position for 2.5 years.
On the particular day of the conflict I was walking down the hallway to attend a meeting. As I was walking down the hall I could hear faculty in one of the classrooms talking about administration in a negative manner. The door was wide open to the room and I could hear one teacher in particular continuing on and on. It really bothered me that this particular teacher was so boldly talking about administration, so I decided to enter the room. As I entered the room she continued to express her dissatisfaction with how she felt administration was doing in managing the school.
I interrupted her and asked her that if she had a particular issue that she felt needed addressing with administration that it would probably be better if she scheduled a meeting to discuss it with us. I also suggested that if she was going to talk about administration behind their back that she should at least have the decency to shut the door to her classroom so people walking by could not heat them, including students. The teacher became upset with how I was speaking to her and told me that I wasn’t her boss and could not speak to her this way. We continued to exchange words, and the conversation ended with us both making accusations at each other, and saying things that were unholy and unprofessional.
After this very heated interaction occurred between the two of us, this person wrote and e-mail to my boss questioning my qualifications for my job and that she was going to speak to the head of our union to see what she needed to do to have me removed from my position.
My boss had addressed me regarding the incident, and actions were taken. The issue was resolved from a human resources perspective. However, since the conflict occurred in the beginning of October I have had no interaction with this teacher. We do not acknowledge each other in the halls, we do not speak to one another, and the conviction that consumes me over this is something that I am ready to be free from.
In all honesty I have not, up to this point, initiated any steps to resolve this conflict. I have used the escape method as my response to the dispute. The part of the escape response that I have been using is the denial strategy. “One way to escape from a conflict is to pretend that it does not exist. Or, if we cannot deny that the problem exists, we simply refuse to do what should be done to resolve a conflict properly. These...
References: Holy Bible: New International Version
Nemitz, D. (2013). Peacemaker Project Instructions.
Sande, Ken. The Peacemaker: Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, 3rd ed.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-8010-6485-6
Peacemaker Workbook. Adapted from The Peacemaker: Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal
Conflict by Ken Sande (Baker Books, 3d. ed. 2004). Billings, MT: Peacemakers Ministries, 2006.
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