|True Stories: The Policeman Who Made PeaceOne of the greatest rewards we have in our ministry is receiving letters from people who have experienced the joy of serving God as peacemakers. Here is one of those letters.Dear Ken,
In this foundational peacemaking resource, Ken Sande describes the powerful biblical principles you can use to resolve conflict. Download Chapter 1 for FREE!
As a police officer, I frequently see people who are involved in destructive conflict. Enforcing the law helps to prevent worse damage, but I’ve been frustrated by my inability to help people find lasting solutions to their conflicts. This is changing since I completed your training. I’m now finding that my work as a police officer provides an exciting platform for ministry.When I was transferred into a new department three weeks ago, I learned of a conflict that had been going on between two co-workers for over five years. It was so intense that it was affecting the entire department. So I began to pray that God would use me to make peace. He answered that prayer more dramatically than I expected!
Within a week God gave me an opportunity to talk with one of the parties. Julie (not her real name) doesn’t profess to be a Christian. She had been deeply hurt years before by Jim, who was known to be a believer. Over the years Julie had talked with several administrators in the department, but no one had been able to really help her. She had even talked to the Mayor about the problem. But the Mayor did what most people do in conflict: he just separated Julie and Jim so they would no longer work together. Since the conflict was still unresolved, it was like having two time bombs walking around in our department.
I talked with Julie three times to try to understand her concerns and offer encouragement. Finally I got up the courage to ask if she would allow me to mediate between her and Jim. To my surprise, she said yes.
I really started praying for God’s guidance. Three days later I passed Jim in the hallway and asked him if he had a minute to talk. We sat down in a quiet area and ended up talking for an hour. He admitted that this conflict had been going on for years without anyone making a genuine attempt to work it out. He seemed to be relieved about my involvement and agreed to have me mediate between them.
Now it was really getting interesting! I went to Julie and asked if she still wanted to resolve the conflict. When I told her Jim would meet with her, she got apprehensive and defensive. I took my time and asked her just to try. I told her that if she didn’t like what was going on, she could simply stand up and say, “Roger, I can’t do this right now.” She took a deep breath and said she’d give it a try. Before I knew it, the three of us sat down in a vacant office to talk.
I was probably more nervous than they were, but I forged ahead using the G.O.S.P.E.L. steps I learned in Reconciler Training, without any Bible lingo or terminology. God was clearly guiding the process, and He worked powerfully in Jim’s heart. Within 45 minutes he repented of his pride and asked Julie to forgive him for the many ways he had hurt her.
She was so stunned that she began to cry. After a few moments, I asked her, “Julie, how can I help you?” She dried her eyes, looked at me, and said, “Roger, you are the only one who has actually spent time with me and sat down with me, listened to me and helped me.” All three of us felt an enormous burden lift and we started laughing. After five years of unresolved conflict, these two people actually sat in the same room, talking to each other in a friendly way. Just think — the day before they were enemies separated by a wall of resentment.
As you can imagine, there has been a lot of talk in our office about this reconciliation. To God’s glory, this has been a wonderful witness to many people. Like you say in the Peacemaker Seminar audio tapes, most people are not used to having someone guide them through a conflict in a direct, loving manner. God’s blessing on my efforts has given me wonderful opportunities to talk about biblical conflict resolution and the God who restored peace between Jim and Julie.
I am so grateful to Peacemaker Ministries for the training that prepared me to help these people. We have a long way to go in our department, but thanks to God’s faithfulness and grace in this incident, many doors have been opened. I am already moving on to an even more challenging project–teaching my children The Young Peacemaker in our family devotion time. They love it!
Would you like to be able to do what Roger did? Has God given you a gift for peacemaking? Do you love to see people reconciled and justice accomplished? Do other people come to you for encouragement and advice when they are in conflict? Would others say that you seem to have a special measure of discernment, understanding, mercy, wisdom, and courage? If so, we invite you to look into our training program. This training is designed to equip Christians to offer godly counsel to others and serve as peacemakers in the day-to-day conflicts that arise in the home, workplace, and church. Advanced training is also available for those who want to use conciliation skills as part of their profession. Please visit the Training section of our web site or call our office (406-256-1583) for more information.