Tripp’s “How to Fight Right” equips you and those you counsel to deal with conflicts and differences. Again, he offers simple, concrete guidance. He walks with you, and walks you through.
Reconciliation Through Confessing Your Sins. Eight practical steps to ensure a clear confession of sin, rather than a murky, excuse-filled apology. Hand it out.
“‘I’ve Had it with You!’ Learning to Be Tender When People are Tough:” Moses had a complicated ministry with burdensome people. So did Jesus. And it happens in our lives as well. But God works out His plans even through conflict. This article suggests practical ways to develop ministry motivation that is God-centered; not self-centered, when we are in the midst of difficulties.
“Transforming Your Church: Cultivating a Culture of Peace.” God wants Christians to demonstrate the reconciling power of Jesus in real life. Shows how one church began a deliberate process of training the congregation to respond to conflict biblically, and how their efforts produced noticeable change.
“Judging Others: the Danger of Playing God.” We have a natural inclination towards mistaken, negative judgments, rather than charitable judgments: means “out of love for God, you strive to believe the best about others until you have facts to prove otherwise.” A key step in breaking free from the habit of critical judgments, is to trace our judgments to their roots in our own hearts: pride, self-righteousness, insecurity, jealousy, self-pit, prejudice, unforgiveness, and lack of love.
“Resolving Conflict Christ’s Way:” Three general principles of resolving conflicts. First, God calls you to pursue peace in all your relationships, with a realism that trusts God about the outcome. Second, God teaches you how to view conflicts: they are to be resolved, to be expected, to be seized as opportunities. Third, God directs you how to resolve conflicts. Your commitment to God, your repentance for contributing to conflict, and your love are the path toward concrete solutions.
“Book Review: Marriage Conflicts: A Short-term Structured Model by Everett L. Worthington Jr and Douglass McMurry.” Critiques David Benner’s preface to the volumes in the Strategic Pastoral Counseling Resources Series in which Marriage Conflicts appears, and then interacts with the book. “Though it claims a biblical view, MC does not give scriptural or theological underpinnings for either theory or practice. While the Bible is presented as useful and informative, its sufficiency in the care of souls is not visible. The Word is not present in any substantial way. Jesus is rarely in view.” Because of this, “the goal and practice of counseling that MC promotes is foundationally man-centered.” This said, the 5-session format proposed is structurally helpful in some situations, and might be especially so for a busy pastor, if reframed within a more biblical worldview.
The Young Peacemaker Series:Discusses the cause of conflict, blame-shifting, confession, forgiveness, and constructive communication. But “YP is not a book of moralistic platitudes. The resolution of interpersonal conflict is firmly anchored in the vertical dimension.” Though it is pegged to a 5th-6th grade level, it is easily adaptable and useful both for younger children and up to adults.
“The Slippery Slope:” Cartoon-style teaching on the dynamics of interpersonal conflict and peacemaking. Lays out the “slippery slope.” On one side are escape responses: deny that there’s a problem, play the blame game, run away. On the other side are attack responses: put others down, gossip, fight. In the middle are work-it-out responses: overlook an offense, talk, get help.
“Picturing the Heart of Conflict:” Draws a picture that can be used as a counselor’s tool for x-raying a conflict. Portrays the situational triggers, the offensive and defensive aspects of war-making, and the cravings of the heart that drive anger and fear.
“Getting to the Heart of Conflict: Anger Part 3” Regarding James 3-4: “No more accurate, profound, and thorough analysis of the dynamics of conflict has ever been written. No more hopeful and condensed description of the dynamics of peace could ever be written.” Analyzes interpersonal conflict in detail: why we fight (our cravings and expectations), who we are when we judge others (playing God, like the devil). James invites us to come honestly to the Giver of grace (4:6-10). The characteristics of peaceable people are richly portrayed (3:17f). “James’s comment that peacemakers are without partiality is particularly striking. When people repent of sinful anger they become able to discuss their own sins accurately and to talk about other people’s sins more charitably. There is no more ax to grind, but an emerging desire for the well-being of the other in the hand of the merciful Redeemer. Such evenhandedness stands in marked contrast with the polarization of conflict. [Paired with “Picturing the Heart of Conflict” in same issue.]
Sande’s book maps out a clear, biblical strategy for pursuing interpersonal reconciliation. Sande is the head of Peacemaker Ministries, a ministry that helps Christians in conflict avoid litigation by solving their problems biblically. He brings a wealth of practical and biblical wisdom to bear in this book.