As much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Romans 12:21)
I hate conflict. It seems easier to just let something go, shove it under the rug, or put up with it — to avoid the risk of rejection by not bringing it up. But I’ve learned that in my relationships, at times I have to be willing to risk conflict in order to bring about genuine peace.
My girlfriend Sharon did something that bothered me, and I couldn’t seem to let it go. I begged God to help me forget it, lay it down, forgive her, but I couldn’t. Eventually I found myself distancing myself from her — I’m not a good pretender. I felt hurt, and I was avoiding her because I didn’t want to be honest. I was afraid.
When you’re in this kind of dilemma, the only biblical way out is the way of the peacemaker. You must be willing to enter into potential conflict in order to bring about true peace and reconciliation. Otherwise the relationship will deteriorate because of unresolved hurts and anger.
A biblical peacemaker always prepares for this kind of conversation with prayer. Ask God for His wisdom and a humble heart. Next, write out what you want to say. If you plan your words, it’s more likely that they will communicate exactly what you want to say. Practice saying what you’ve written out loud. Notice your tone. Is it too harsh? Too weak? Aim for a neutral tone. Lastly, pick a time and place carefully so that you’ll both have the time and energy to talk this through. This conversation is too important to do when someone is preoccupied, tired, or hungry.
Is there someone you need to talk with to make peace? Go. Don’t put it off. Obey God and do your part. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).