Conflict, Peace, and Honesty

I quote pretty often from Ray Ortlund's excellent blog. Because he's just that good, that often. Here is another example:
Diogenes looked for an honest man. May he find that honesty in us.

Honesty compels us to remember certain things in moments of conflict:

1. There is a difference between an accusation and a fact. An accusation is easy to launch, and it can have huge impact, even when it doesn’t deserve to. A fact can be hard to establish, and can carry little weight, though it deserves to. Honesty compels us to discipline our emotions and tongues.

2. It doesn’t matter how many times an accusation is repeated and repeated and repeated. Repetition does not prove anything. Honesty compels us to remember that repetition does risk multiple sins of gossip.

3. There is a difference between a sin and the general effects of sin on us all.

A sin is a clear violation of the Bible, chapter and verse. An act that is truly sinful – not just a disappointment to me but an offense to God – warrants discipline in some cases. But “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Honesty compels us to hold back before we go so far as to accuse anyone of a sin. Is it a sin? Really? In God’s sight?

The general effects of sin are the misunderstandings and disconnects common among us. They don’t deserve mention, even in our thoughts. Honesty compels us to admit that the irritation might be due to a flaw within ourselves.

May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). After all, something will.

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