Stop Lying to Yourself and Start Reconciling with Others.

Ten Guardian-Lies 

or "Why I do not have to reconcile"

Disclaimer:  There are interpersonal conflicts that are sometimes intractable based on criminal felony offenses, years of abuse, deep emotional wounds, and the like.  I am not writing about those types of complicated conflicts.  I am writing about the normal routine conflicts that people bring into New Path Center every week.


As a result of serving as a mediator over the last 20 years, I've noticed a pattern.  Sometimes, when I invite conflicted clients to enter a reconciliation process, the clients, along with several other clients, give amazingly similar irrational responses.  I hear the following responses over and over again.  Hence, I have learned to recognize these repeating phrases as "guardian-lies."

A guardian-lie is any belief that hinders a person from moving forward.  People are stuck NOT because of any outside force beyond his or her control.  People are stuck due to their own belief and choice.


Here are some of the most common guardian-lies that I hear.  These lies keep people from moving forward to reconciliation.

I choose to remain stuck in conflict because:

  1. I know the other party will not want to reconcile.
  2. Even if the other party says they want to reconcile, they are not showing enough sincerity, remorse, humility, forgiveness, (and so on).
  3. Reconciling will only be a waste of time.
  4. We have tried to reconcile in the past but it has never worked, and it won't work this time.
  5. Any more contact with the other party will only make it worse.
  6. There is nothing we could possibly do to make it better
  7. The other party knows what they did wrong, they need to come to me.
  8. If I have wronged someone, they have the responsibility to come to me.
  9. I'm just going to avoid being around the other person.
  10. The other party is "crazy!"

1. Dr. Ed Smith, Theophostice Prayer Ministry, adapted by Tony Redfern

Generosity: Mark of a Redemptive Community


That's not fair!"

In a past NPC mediation for a non-profit organization, fairness was an issue – fairness over who received what and how much. What does Jesus think of this type of conflict? I do not know the circumstances behind the recording of the siblings' protest in Luke 12:13. But whatever the circumstances, Jesus seems less concerned about fairness and more concerned about motives. While the protesting sibling wants arbitration, Jesus refuses to be the judge or arbiter. In fact, He says to the listening crowd including both siblings, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (v.15).

Jesus then teaches on different kinds of greed:

Greed that accumulates and “stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (v.21).

Greed that enumerates and worries about “life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear” (v.22).

Greed that consecrates and defines “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v.34).

Greed that procrastinates and “knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants” (v.47).

Granted, sometimes conflict is about injustice and fairness, but sometimes we must consider the greed factor. So, is it really about fairness or is it about one’s own greed – concerned with amassing wealth, consumed with taking inventories, compulsive over the hoard, or continually postponing what God desires?

Proverbs 11:25 teaches, “A generous man will prosper: he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Simply, generosity promotes redemptive community, while greed destroys relationships.