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Conflict is inevitable. No relationship is immune.
When managed biblically, conflict can serve as a catalyst for change and an opportunity for spiritual and relational growth. Psychologists define conflict to be: a state of opposition, disagreement, or incompatibility between two or more people or groups of people. Conflict mostly refers to the existence of the clash, which can be interests, values, actions, or directions. In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Lucy says to Snoopy, “There are times when you really bug me, but I must admit there are also times when I feel like giving you a big hug.” Snoopy replies, “That’s the way I am … bugable and hugable [sic]!”
And so it is with us and our relationships — we need each other, yet we annoy each other. At times, the people to whom we are the closest are those with whom we experience the most conflict. In friendships, we are off again and on again. Before marriage, opposites attract; but after marriage, opposites attack. In the Church, as the old saying goes, “We long to live in Heaven, together in God’s glory. To live together down on earth, well, that’s another story.”
Might is not right:
Proverbs 15:1 (NLT): A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. We must learn how to handle conflict better, realizing it’s not about being right: it’s about resolving the issue. In Matthew 5:39 (NIV), Jesus said, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” To the Jew, this was offensive. They were looking for a military leader who would help them destroy their enemies. Jesus was saying you must give up your rights. Today, we live in a world where people are taught to stand up, fight for your rights — what you think you deserve. Jesus was teaching us not to demand our rights.
In order to resolve conflict, we must pray and humble ourselves and make it about the issue. The relationship is always more important than the issue.
Just a thought,
Published on Monday, May 8, 2023 @ 8:23 AM MDT
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