The following principles, based on Matthew 18, shape our personal as well as collective peacemaking endeavours.
- If you have a problem with me, please come to me (privately).
- If I have a problem with you, I’ll come to you (privately).
- If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me (I’ll do the same for you).
- If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go see him together. I am sure he will see us about this” (I’ll do the same for you).
- Be careful how you interpret me – I would rather do that myself. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misrepresent intentions.
- I will be careful how I interpret you.
- If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If you or anyone else comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell, unless the person is going to harm themselves, the person is going to harm someone else or it involves a child who has been physically or sexually abused. In cases of church discipline, the clergy will follow Jesus instructions in Matthew 18:15-20. I expect the same from you.
- I do not read unsigned letters or notes.
- I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated; do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others try and manipulate me through you.
- When in doubt, just say it. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will.
Adapted from John Maxwell, There’s no such thing as Business Ethics (Warner, 2003) pp.44-45.