Resolving Conflict

The images of the Bronx Zoo are still fresh in the minds of baseball fans who witnessed the constant brawling and bickering in the dugout of the New York Yankees in the 1980s. Billy Martin going at Reggie Jackson was the most visible conflict, but not the exclusive source of the friction that team knew all too well. The very public front-office feuding between Martin and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner also contributed to a team being very much in turmoil. In a time when cooler heads were desperately needed, none seemed to rise to the need of the moment, and the Yankees remained a team filled with talent but lacking ultimate success—arguably, at least in part, because they were a team in conflict.

We all understand that it is equally common for coworkers, marriages, and even churches to settle into longstanding seasons of conflict. After all, we are all people who have been broken by both sin and experience—and we regularly default to self-preservation instead of seeking the high ground that may involve self-sacrifice. Jesus, however, called us to higher ground when He declared in His Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

That’s a noble calling, but how can we become these peacemakers? James said it is beyond us, but not beyond the wisdom that God offers us. He affirmed:

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18).

In our seasons of conflict, we are called to be people of peace. The question is, will we rely on the matchless wisdom of God so that we might be, in the worst moments of life, instruments of His peace? Join us tomorrow on Sports Spectrum radio as we delve further into the issue of conflict resolution.

 

Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain