One of the marks of a good book is that it keeps rattling around in your head months after you read it. Pursuing Peace by Robert D. Jones is proving to be one of those. In putting the finishing touches on our marriage conference I kept coming back to Jones’ book on conflict.
For me perhaps the most important point in the entire book is made in chapter three. In that chapter Jones makes the point that the most important thing that we do in the midst of conflict is pursue pleasing God. He then gives nine implications that this pursuit has on our relationships.
- Failure to please God—our failure or the other person’s, or both—is the ultimate cause of all relational conflict
- This goal of pleasing God keeps our focus on God, not on the conflict issues or on the other person
- In Christ, this goal is always doable, no matter how the other person behaves
- This goal will help us pace our efforts (our energy, timing, risk, etc.)
- God might bless our efforts by brining reconciliation
- If both parties seek to please God, full reconciliation is guaranteed
- Even if the other person does not please God, we can experience God’s blessing and comfort
- We must continue our commitments to please God even if the other person does not, and even if the relationship gets worse
- When the goal of pleasing God governs us, the other person’s sins and failures become opportunities, not obstacles, to please God more and more, and to grow as a Christian.
There is a ton that is said in the book between the lines, but this is enough to be helpful at present, and hopefully enough to encourage you to purchase this very helpful book.