Peacekeeping doesn't deal with issues but only focuses on keeping peace for the moment. Last Friday I wrote on the difference in peacekeeping and peacemaking: Give Me Some Peace... Help ....Fast,
Unaddessed conflict can destroy ministry or family vitality and longevity. When we fail to address conflict in a constructive manner, it can grow into a huge barrier and hindrance to strong relationships.
Peacemaking doesn't focus on present tranquility but is directly interested in seeking resoluton to the issues that created the conflict in the first place. Conflict resolution through peacemaking often has a short-term cost but yields a tremendous long-term benefit.
In his book, The Peacemaker, Ken Sande teaches the P A U S E principle as a practical acronym for proactively approaching others to resolve conflict:
Prepare yourself for the conversation
Affirm the other person's dignity and worth
Understand the interests of the other person
Search for creative solutions
Evaluate options as objectively and reasonably as possible
Once reconciliation has taken place, Sande also suggests each partner make four promises to each other as a way to avoid rehashing the same issues in the future:
1. I will not dwell on this incident
2. I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you
3. I will not talk to others about this incident
4. I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our relationship
These peacemaking principles will help us not only to resolve conflict in a biblical way but also to keep bitterness from creeping into our ministries and families...
Ken Sande, The Peacemaker 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004) pp. 267-68
Remember this is the Prince of Peace Season!!! He is our model, He is the greatest peacemaker.
Do you have the courage to be a peacemaker? Or are you just going to pull the covers over your "mess" while you try to keep the peace?