Conflict, Trauma and Controversy
As a culture, we seem to be so concerned about personal conflict. We avoid it, keep it at a distance and attempt not to ever have it. We change ourselves to keep from it and we keep our mouthes closed to protect ourselves in it. Very few people enjoy conflict, trauma and controversy.
And then there are a few who like it. (Heaven help them.) I think a little more grace must be required for those who like to fight…
I hate conflict. But I seem to be in the middle of them all the time. They are stressful, tiring and ultimately can take a great deal of our time and effort in ministry and leadership.
Now that isn’t to say that conflict should be avoided, or that it is unneccessary.
I actually think that conflict over the right things with the right people can lead to greater clarity and love for one another. What I mean is, we don’t reach closeness by avoiding the difficult topics. We grow closer by talking through them together. And when we disagree, there will be conflict.
But Christ’s love goes beyond our conflict. And if we will follow Him there, we can grow through conflict.
The Bible is full of fruitful conflicts between fellow believers. Paul and Mark had conflict in the Book of Acts that led to the planting of many new churches. Paul and Peter had conflict at the Jerusalem Counsel in Acts as well that led to bringing together the two strongest voices in the early church. Paul and… well, it seems that Paul had conflicts with lots of folks.
Maybe that says something about Paul.
More importantly, I think it says something about what Paul was called to do.
Lesson to be learned, never shy away from a healthy and loving conflict if through it a relationship can grow closer, a church can grow stronger and the gospel can go farther.