|Spring Cleaning Time for Closets with Skeletons
If it is difficult for you to identify and confess your wrongs, there are two things you can do. First, ask God to help you see your sin clearly and repent of it, regardless of what others may do (Ps. 129:23-24). Then prayerfully study his Word and ask him to show you where your ways have not lined up with his ways (Heb. 4:12). Second, ask a spiritually mature friend to counsel and correct you (Prov. 12:15; 19:20). The older I get, the less I trust myself to be objective when I am involved in a confict. Time after time I have been blessed by asking a friend to candidly critique my role in a conflict. I have not always liked what my friends have said, but as I have humbled myself and submitted to their correction, I have always seen more clearly.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 120
Food for Thought
In Psalm 32, David talks about how hidden sin eats us up. “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of the summer.”
Yet as we read on in the chapter, David identifies no less than seven mighty acts God will work on our behalf as we confess our sin. He begins with the stunning promise that “surely in the rush of great waters they shall not reach him” and ends with the assurance that “steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord”.
Are you struggling with private or unconfessed sin? Read Psalm 32 and see if you can identify all seven of the ways God promises to intercede on your behalf as you take the difficult step of acknowledging (even publicly, if appropriate) your wrongdoing. Then read 2 Timothy 2:21 and take comfort in the knowledge that God is seeking to cleanse you from your sin to use you for noble purposes ahead.
|Resources to Help You Respond to Conflict Biblically The Peacemaking Pastor, by Alfred Poirier. Every pastor faces conflict in the church, and Rev. Poirier has this loving reminder: we can run, but we can’t hide. Jesus set the example as the Incarnate Peacemaker, and Scripture clearly calls his servant-pastors to be ministers of reconciliation. Thoroughly exploring the theology of reconciliation, Poirier adds lessons from personal experience and lists practical steps for effective ministry. You may order this book through our online bookstore or call our Resource department at 800-711-7118.
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