16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 18Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:16-21
The foundation has been laid, the blueprints are being consulted, and the house has been fumigated. What comes next as you continue your family remodeling project?
Here’s the fourth key to family remodeling: MEDIATE.
We must resolve conflict quickly. This isn’t always easy, but Romans 12 gives us some specific steps that we can take in order to become better mediators.
We need to be aggressive. Verse 16 says we must “Live in harmony with one another. . .” This is the first step toward conflict resolution. If you are not on good terms with somebody, you need to go and work it out . . . immediately.
Second, we must be humble. Paul continues to tell us in verse 16 not to be haughty. Humility is a great way to bring a conflict to a quick end!
Third, we need to be positive. Romans 12:17 says “. . . do what is honorable. . .” As you interact with people, focus on the things about them that are strong; don’t focus on their weaknesses.
Fourth, if we want to improve at resolving conflict, we need to be peaceable. Romans 12:18 says to “. . . live peaceably. . .” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Fifth, we must be forgiving. Verse 19 says, “. . . never avenge yourselves. . .” Forgiveness is moving from You owe me, to You owe me nothing. Forgiveness is the choice to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they hurt you. There are no enduring relationships without forgiveness.
Sixth, we need to be kind. Romans 12:20 is teaching that kindness “. . . will heap burning coals on his head. . .” In other words, kill ’em with kindness! And that’s not wrong. That’s the loving, peaceful way. That’s God’s way. Give Him an opportunity to work through your merciful kindness. (It also helps you to forgive!)
Seventh, if we’re going to improve our conflict resolution, we must be strong. We need to endure. Verse 21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
If we would just take these seven principles to heart, how much conflict do you suppose would get resolved? It would be unbelievable! And so I urge you: mediate. Work hard at solving problems and settling conflicts.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, this world is full of conflict. It seems that everywhere I turn there are more relationships strained by unresolved conflict. Thank You that You give us the directions we need in Your Word to mediate these conflicts. Help me to follow Your Word and begin to work hard at solving the problems and conflicts in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.