When someone has disappointed or offended us, our natural tendency often is to come at them with “the law,” lecturing them about what they have done wrong and what they should now do to make things right. This approach generally makes people defensive and reluctant to admit their wrongs, which makes a conflict worse.
But there is a better way to approach others about their failures. Instead of coming at them with the law, we can bring them the gospel. In other words, rather than dwelling on what people should do or have failed to do, we can learn to focus primarily on what God has done and is doing for them through Christ.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 162-163, 165.
Food for Thought
Do you tend to be a “law-speaker” or “grace-speaker”?
Many times it is difficult to consistently weave the gospel into our conversations with others until the gospel is first woven deeply into our own hearts. Many of us are by nature “law-speakers”–we bring judgment much more easily than we bring grace. If that is you, pray that God would give you a major heart change, to make the gospel central to everything you think, say and do.
Pray that God will open your eyes more fully to the glory of what Christ has done for you. Learn to delight in reading about, meditating on, and rejoicing in Jesus’ completed work on the cross. When your soul, your thoughts, and your conversation are saturated with the gospel, it will overflow into other areas of your life, bringing hope and encouragement to others.
I am much of a law-speaker, especially to my family. I was saying to a friend of mine that our talk should be edifying to all we come in contact with. And who should deserve it more than the ones we love the most?
Also, think of those people who are so quick to condemn you to hell for some sort of sinning, when in fact, they should be giving you the good news, the fact that God will forgive you for all your sins, past, present and future, just put your trust in Him.
How much more would people want to listen, want to change, want to trust in the Lord who Forgives?