I teach a course on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution at Austin Bible Institute. Something I’ve taught for years is that, in a conflict resolution, the stronger party has the moral obligation to initiate reconciliation by going to the weaker party to initiate a peace process that will lead to lasting peace. I was listening to an interview with Nelson Mandella and heard him mention that same principle. It’s always exciting to be validated by a hero. I think it’s worth listening.
In a conflict, the stronger party should initiate reconciliation process. Righteousness–being in the right, is also a part of strength. The person on the right also should take the first step and work to sustain the reconciliation. That mean I cannot think or say the following things:
“I’m on the right, he hurt me, he needs to come to me and apologize so that we could make peace.” Or,
“I’m the boss, he is my employee, I have power over him and can fire him anytime. He is the one who needs to come and beg me to forgive him. Besides, he did something to hurt me.”
Instead, I need I have the responsibility –being the one who sees more clearly — to humble myself and go and seek to make peace with him. To him whom much is given, much is required. If I’ve been given the gift to be on the right or to be powerful, I have the responsibility to take the first step towards peace. And not only the first step, but to pay the price for peacemaking if that is within my power to do so.
Take a listen to what Nelson Mandela says.