Conflict Resolution: Focus On Reconciliation

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NIV)                                 

When you are in conflict, concentrate on reconciliation rather than resolution. There’s a big difference: Reconciliation means to re-establish the relationship, but resolution means to resolve every issue by coming to agreement on everything. 

That's simply not going to happen. I don't care if you both love the Lord or are deeply in love with each other; there are some things you'll never agree on, because God has wired each of us differently.

But you can disagree without being disagreeable — that's called wisdom. The Bible says in James 3, “Wisdom is peace loving and courteous. It allows discussion, and it is willing to yield to others.” 

The Bible says it's wise to compromise. You can have unity without uniformity. You can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. You can have reconciliation without resolution of every issue.

When we focus on the relationship, the issues often become insignificant. This is my challenge to you: In a world filled with conflict, war, prejudice, violence, partisanship, and broken relationships, commit to becoming an agent of reconciliation.

It is no accident that the first letter of P.E.A.C.E represents God’s goal for us to be peacemakers. It’s always more rewarding to resolve the conflict than to dissolve the relationship.

Talk About It

In what relationships or situations in your life can you be an agent of reconciliation?

Have you made a habit of “burning bridges” as you tried to move on from a conflict? How does your attitude need to change so that you can bring reconciliation to your relationships?


Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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