Emotionally Healthy Relationships: Fighting Like A Peacemaker (06.17.19)
Start your time together by reading the simple words below, and then taking three minutes of silence in the presence of the Lord.
Each week we gather to praise our God,
to give ourselves over to our God
and to ask our God for help
We believe when we gather, He is with us
We believe when we openly confess our hearts, we become more like Him
We believe in Christ we are our truest selves,
created to love and serve others for the sake of the world
Practicing Fighting Cleanly (60 min)
In Emotionally Healthy Relationships, Peter & Geri Scazero lay out a process for handling conflict in pursuit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace:
- As pre-work, consider your contribution humbly and responsibly, not just blaming the other party.
- Start a conversation in a way that is less likely to spark defensive responses by saying “I noticed that ___” and describe a concrete behavior. (E.g., “I noticed that you took the full credit for the project we worked on together” or “I noticed that you didn’t arrive when you said you would.”)
- Then take it to a deeper level by saying “I value ___” to name the underlying value you have that seems to be fueling the conflict for you. (E.g., “I value people being recognized for hard work” or “I value arriving on time or at least communication if you’re running late.”)
- Explain the connection between the other’s action and your feelings by saying “When you ___ (the other’s action), I feel ___ (feeling words in response)” (E.g., “When you do not acknowledge my contribution at work, I feel alone and like we are not in a reliable team” or “When you do not arrive when you say you would, I feel angry and like my time is not valuable to you.”)
- Make a request respectfully, clearly, and without entitlement. (E.g., “I ask that you please make it a priority to share credit for the projects we have collaborated on” or “I ask for you to please arrive when you say you will or call or text ahead with a reason why you’re running late and when I can expect you.”
- Find a mutually agreeable way to move forward.
Think of a person in your life with whom you are experiencing conflict, whether a co-worker, roommate, family member, neighbor, etc. Try to focus on someone outside of your CG or that your CG does not know in this prayer and the following exercise.
Prayerfully reflect for 5-10 minutes with the steps above and with the specific conflict in mind. Seek God’s help and wisdom as you consider these steps. Feel free to journal in a notebook or on your phone if it will help you focus your prayers.
Share and practice together.
In a group of 3 or 4, share about your reflection time, perhaps by talking through the steps with your conflict in mind. After each person shares, explore the following questions:
- What would you imagine this conflict resolution conversation to look like if it all went horribly?
- What would it look like if it went perfectly easy?
- What would it look like if it was somewhere in the middle?
After all share, offer words of encouragement and blessing to one another to step into peacemaking.
Biblical Wisdom (20 min)
Read the narrative of Genesis 32-33about in which Jacob returns to his brother Esau, with whom he is experiencing conflict:
- What surprises or intrigues you about this account?
- What do you think God’s message about conflict for us is in this scripture?
- What is worth imitating in this story, and what is not?
Series Reflection (10 min)
As a general reflection, what have you learned in this “Emotionally Healthy Relationships” sermon series that you want to hold on to? Share with your group.
Lessons in the series:
- Taking Your Community Temperature, 5/6/19, Dave Lomas, RSF Teaching Team
- Stop Mind Reading & Clarify Expectations, 5/13/19, Dave Lomas, RSF Teaching Team
- Understand Your Family of Origin, 5/20/19, Dave Lomas, RSF Teaching Team
- Explore the Iceberg, 5/27/19, Bethany Allen, Bridgetown Church
- Listening Deeply, 6/3/19, Dave Lomas, RSF Teaching Team
- Integrity, 6/10/19, Dave Lomas, RSF Teaching Team
- Fighting like a Peacemaker, 6/17/19, Ruthie Kim, RSF Teaching Team
Closing (5 min)
Have someone close your time in prayer.
Note for this next week:
As we live out this principle of emotionally healthy relationships, take note of any moments where you can step into confrontation in order to bring peace.