We are currently in the midst of our NWYM annual peace month with a focus on conflict resolution. I have been challenged by the various entries in the Peace Month Daily Reader that Cherice Bock and others have put together. I have appreciated the vulnerability of those who have shared from their own personal experiences. It has encouraged me to look inside my own conflict resolution toolbox and refresh and hone some of those skills.
For instance, I am seeking to be more honest with myself about feelings like anger, frustration, hurt, or disappointment. I am trying to sit quietly with these feelings and ask God how to sort through them. When tension or conflict arises in my family, with friends, or in my faith community, rather than blaming others, I am trying to discern how I have contributed to the strain in the relationship. I am seeking to listen more, and talk less. I am seeking to forgive and then forgive some more. And I am holding the intention to practice kindness and tenderness daily to everyone I come in contact with.
I really like what the writer of 1 Peter 3:8-11 says:
Summing up: be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongue sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do: say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth.
Contributed by Faith Marsalli, pastor, Klamath Falls Friends