Do you have unreconciled, relational conflict? Conflict is defined as two objects attempting to occupy the same space at the same time. God designed peace for our relationships (Genesis 1:28). With sin came negative conflict (Genesis 3). Negative conflict includes at least one foolish option. It is internal — our sinful nature and the Spirit are in conflict with each other (Galatians 5:17). It is also external in our relationships. Consequently, when someone wrongs us, we attempt to satisfy our desires through negative conflict. In His seventh secret to satisfaction through surrender, Jesus shared: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Who are satisfied? The peacemakers are satisfied. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Internally, peace is a heart condition that flows from the peaceful relationship of the Godhead — Christ (Colossians 3:15), the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and the Father (1 Corinthians 14:33). Externally in our relationships, we are commanded by Paul to be peacemakers: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Peace is reconciliation. Forgiveness always precedes reconciliation, but reconciliation does not always follow forgiveness because peace requires two willing hearts. Paul went on to say that we should not attempt to satisfy our desires with negative conflict (revenge), but we should leave room for God (Romans 12:19).
Peace is in the heart of Christ who made our peace with God, allowing us to have peace with others (Ephesians 2:14-22). Internally, we experience vertical peace by the work of Christ. Externally, we can experience horizontal peace in our relationships by the work of Christ.
Why are they satisfied? “They will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Son” means “likeness.” Faith in Christ makes us sons of God (Galatians 3:26-29). His Spirit tells ours that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). As God’s children, we are heirs of His kingdom empowered to live in harmony in relationships (Romans 12:16). Therefore, we are satisfied when we exhibit the likeness of Christ in our relationships by exchanging our desire for negative conflict with a desire for making peace. Proverbs tells us that it is better for us to have a little with peace in our relationships than to have a lot with unreconciled conflict (Proverbs 17:1). Peace in relationships allows us to experience the kingdom of God — His divine reign, rule, and order on this earth now and in the future (Romans 14:17).
How are they satisfied? They surrender their conflict. Surrender says to God, “I can’t satisfy my desires through negative conflict (revenge) toward the person who wronged me. You can bring peace to the unreconciled conflict in my life.”
First, we must pray for wisdom — God’s heart combined with street smarts. Conflict is why Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-9). Internally, when we pray for wisdom, the peace of God will guard our hearts in Christ (Philippians 4:7). When we have internal peace with God, He makes our enemies live at peace with us (Proverbs 16:7).
Second, we must go make peace. Jesus, the personified wisdom of God, said that when we have unreconciled conflict, we should go make peace and agree (Matthew 18:15-20). Agree in Greek is where we get the English word for symphony. Externally, when we have harmony in our relationships, we make a symphony to God. Proverbs tells us that God’s wisdom brings peace that satisfies our desires more than negative conflict can (Proverbs 3:15-17).
Identify your conflict. What two objects are attempting to occupy the same space at the same time? First, pray for wisdom and experience the peace of God in Christ. Second, go make peace with your counterpart in the conflict. Live in harmony and make a symphony to God.