by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker Ministries


The Peacemaker

The Peacemaker
In this foundational peacemaking resource, Ken Sande describes the powerful biblical principles you can use to resolve conflict. Download Chapter 1 for FREE!
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Sample Letter to a Friend

(Revise and personalize as appropriate.)
Dear [Friend],

I am writing to ask for a favor. As you know, we all have areas of weakness, areas where we need growth in character and in the ways we relate to others. These weaknesses are often revealed and pointed out to us in the midst of conflict. Unfortunately, we are usually defensive then and don’t listen well to correction, even when there is truth in it.

I recognize that I am usually blind to my own weaknesses and unable to listen well to correction in the midst of conflict. So I am turning to those closest to me to ask for candid advice on where I need to change and grow. I am asking you because I trust that you are my friend. I want to hear from you because I believe these promises: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Prov. 27:6), and “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness” (Psalm 141:5).

As my friend, please take some time to prayerfully answer the following questions. Please don’t be afraid to wound me! Your candor will help me to grow. I will take your thoughts seriously as I ask God to help me plan for spiritual growth in the months ahead.

1. What characteristics do you see in me, or what areas of growth have you recently observed in me, that enable me to serve and relate well to others and have a positive witness for Christ? (I want to thank God for the gifts and strengths he has already given me and continue to build on them.)

2. Please describe three character qualities, attitudes, or behaviors that have disappointed, annoyed, or offended you or others, or seemed to undermine my witness for Christ. Please give specific examples if you can.

3. I believe that lasting changes in behavior require genuine changes in the heart (Matt. 15:19; James 4:1). Please read chapter two of Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande (or a summary of it at www.Peacemaker.net called Getting to the Heart of Conflict). This chapter explains how our desires control our behavior, and describes a biblical dynamic called “the progression of an idol.” Reading it will help you to answer the following three questions, which will help me to identify desires that may be ruling my heart.

a. What things have you seen me make idols out of? (An idol is any desire–even for good things–that I have elevated to a demand, become excessively preoccupied with, looked to for security, had to have in order to be content, or allowed to control me.)

b. How have you seen me judge or criticize you or others when my desires were not satisfied?

c. How have you seen me manipulate or punish you or others in order to get what I want?

4. If there were just one change God would bring about in me in the next six months, what would you pray it would be?

5. I know that I am powerless to change on my own. I am in great need of God’s grace and encouragement, especially when I stumble. What word of promise or hope from God’s Word would you suggest that I keep in mind as I seek to grow?

Thank you for your help. Please pray for me as I seek to understand myself more fully and cooperate with God as he works to free me from worldly desires and help me to be more like Christ.

 


Sample Letter to a Co-Worker

(Revise and personalize as appropriate.)
Dear [Co-Worker],

I am writing to ask for a favor. As you know, we all have areas of weakness, areas where we need growth in the ways we relate to others in the workplace. We often hesitate to point these character and relational weaknesses out to one another unless a conflict arises. Unfortunately, we are usually defensive at such times and don’t listen well to correction, even when there is truth in it.

I recognize that I am usually blind to my own weaknesses and unable to listen well to correction in the midst of conflict. So I am turning to those who work with me to ask for candid advice on where I need to change and grow. I am asking you because I trust that you are my friend. I want to hear from you because I believe these promises: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Prov. 27:6), and “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness” (Psalm 141:5).

As my friend and coworker, please take some time to prayerfully answer the following questions about my character and relational skills. (These questions are not expected to replace a normal job review by my supervisor, which focuses on job performance and skills.) Please don’t be afraid to wound me! Your candor will help me to grow. I will take your thoughts seriously as I ask God to help me plan for spiritual growth in the months ahead.

1. What characteristics do you see in me, or what areas of growth have you recently observed in me, that enable me to relate to and work well with others, and have a positive witness for Christ? (I want to thank God for the gifts and strengths he has already given me and continue to build on them.)

2. Please describe three character qualities, attitudes, or behaviors that have disappointed, annoyed, or offended you or others, diminished our ability to work with each other, or seemed to undermine my witness for Christ. Please give specific examples if you can.

3. I believe that lasting changes in behavior require genuine changes in the heart (Matt. 15:19; James 4:1). Please read chapter two of Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande (or a summary of it at www.Peacemaker.net called Getting to the Heart of Conflict). This chapter explains how our desires control our behavior, and describes a biblical dynamic called “the progression of an idol.” Reading it will help you to answer the following three questions, which will help me to identify desires that may be ruling my heart.

a. What things have you seen me make idols out of? (An idol is any desire–even for good things–that I have elevated to a demand, become excessively preoccupied with, looked to for security, had to have in order to be content, or allowed to control me.)

b. How have you seen me judge or criticize you or others when my desires were not satisfied?

c. How have you seen me manipulate or punish you or others in order to get what I want?

4. If there were just one change God would bring about in how I behave in the workplace in the next six months, what would you pray it would be?

5. I know that I am powerless to change on my own. I am in great need of God’s grace and encouragement, especially when I stumble along the way. What word of promise or hope from God’s Word would you suggest that I keep in mind as I seek to grow?

Thank you for your help. Please pray for me as I seek to understand myself more fully and cooperate with God as he works to make me a more pleasant and productive co-worker.

 


These letters relate to the article, Asking for Correction, by Ken Sande.

 

Skills

Posted on

February 15, 2015