| Know Limits or No Limits?When dealing with difficult people, it is also important to recognize your limits. Even when you continue to do what is right, some people may adamantly refuse to admit you are right or to live at peace with you. This is why Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18). In other words, do all you can to be reconciled to others, but remember that you cannot force others to do what is right. If you have done everything within your power to resolve a conflict, you have fulfilled your responsibility to God and may stop actively trying to solve the problem.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 252
Food for Thought
It was a credit card advertisement. It had the usual assortment of young, good-looking people out pursuing young, good-looking things. Right below the name of the credit card company were these words: No limits. That was the impression they wanted to leave you with — this card allows you a life of no limits.
We all know, however, that every credit card has limits. No doubt, there is a limit on how much you can charge to the card, as well as how much cash you can access via the card. Going beyond those limits might possibly get you a personal visit from an assortment of older, not-so-good-looking debt collectors. But the advertising never mentions that.
Everything has limits. And Ken reminds us that our peacemaking efforts do, too. Knowing those limits allows you a measure of protection and safety, much like knowing the limits on your credit card. “If it is possible…live at peace,” Paul says. We go as far as we possibly can, but we are not able to change the behavior of others. That’s beyond our limits. Does God know those limits? Absolutely. But so does the deceiver, the father of lies.
His spin on the truth convinces us that surely the right thing to do is keep on knocking on the door, confronting, calling, writing, pestering, etc. In other words, he wants us to doing anything other than wait on the Lord and trust Him. But do you see what a lie that is when we become so busy trying to make peace? It takes the other person as well as God completely out of the picture. It attempts to make us the god of reconciliation.
But of course, just like the credit card ad, he never mentions that.
2008 Peacemaker Conference – Just 3 Weeks Away!
As we look to the 2008 Peacemaker Conference, the storms of life remind us just how much we, as the church, need to be equipped to handle the storms of life and to offer light and hope to others. By standing on the Rock of Jesus Christ, we can experience “The Power of a Peacemaking Church.”
At the conference we will explore the various spheres of life touched by storms—in our homes, in our communities, cross-culturally, and in our churches—and see how God’s Word applies in each situation. Peacemaking can be a way of life, and we can each be encouraged by the wisdom of others who have weathered many storms!
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