|Time is of the Essence
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity
under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak…” Eccl. 3:1,7
Timing is an essential ingredient of effective communication. If possible, do not discuss sensitive matters with someone who is tired, worried about other things, or in a bad mood. Nor should you approach someone about an important concern unless you will have enough time to discuss the matter thoroughly.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 173
Food for Thought
How often do we pursue peacemaking according to our clocks instead of listening to the Father’s heart?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the distinctions between chronos and kairos. Chronos is clock-time; it dictates much of what we do. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Most of us keep it on our wrists or on the wall. Kairos, on the other hand, is God’s-time; it’s more about His will and the deeper rhythms of our lives.
Ken wisely reminds us of the word sensitive. Not everything is of a sensitive nature, but many things are. And it’s those sensitive matters that require timely approaches. You cannot always wait until someone is well-rested, not worried about anything, and in a great mood; to some degree, that’s what heaven will be. When you visit a hospital room, do you just walk right in on the patient and announce your presence? No. Why? You want to be sensitive to whether they might be sleeping or talking with their physician. Regardless of what your chronos says, if they’re sleeping, you come back later. When your pastor is preaching on a Sunday morning, do you stand in the wings returning calls on your cell phone? No (at least let’s hope not). Why? You want to be sensitive to others around you and what God may be trying to tell them–not to mention yourself. Regardless of the calls your phone display may indicate you’ve missed, the kairos is not right.
But we must be careful that a kairos awareness doesn’t keep us always silent– there is a time to speak. And sometimes, God’s timing is an invitation to rely on His strength and His will and speak into a matter, even when we may feel it’s not time. Hyper-sensitivity allows peacekeeping to thrive, but not peacemaking. As peacemakers, we’re called to redeem the time. And that means staying aware of a different time zone–God’s.
Resources To Help You Respond to Conflict Biblically
The Peacemaking Church Resource Set is a three-part discipleship initiative designed to change the way you think about conflict and help your church on its journey toward a Culture of Peace. Included is a box for the pastor to inspire the church, a box for the small groups to enable your entire church to learn the basic principles of personal peacemaking, and a box to embed a peacemaking team into the life of the church. You can order it through our online bookstore or by calling our Resource line at 800-711-7118.
PeaceMeal is a weekly e-publication of Peacemaker Ministries (http://peacemaker.net). All Rights Reserved.
Miss a PeaceMeal? If you’ve missed a past issue or have the need to reference a past issue, you can access them in our PeaceMeal archives. Issues will appear for approximately one year from date of publication.
Don’t forget to pass the peace! If you found this PeaceMeal helpful, pleas forward it to friends. If you’d like to reprint PeaceMeal in your church bulletin or newsletter each week, see the guidelines at www.Peacemaker.net.
Say your piece in PeaceMeal. We are looking for peacemakers from around the world to write the Food for Thought section of a future issue of PeaceMeal. How about you? Guidelines and more information can be found at www.Peacemaker.net.