Thursday, May 06, 2010

That Familiar Conflict

In life, conflict is bound to happen, and while conflict is not fun to experience, it can be beneficial. Meaning that sometimes conflict is what allows us to address a situation we are avoiding, or ignoring. It is not uncommon for us to ignore certain situations because we don’t want to “rock the boat” or we don’t want to create any tension in the relationship. So we let the issue linger on, while all the while it is simmering deep inside us. Finally, the situation gets so bad that it has to be addressed.
On top of this, there are those all too familiar conflicts that happen time and time again. These conflicts happen regularly for several reasons: one may be that the person whom we are in conflict with, doesn’t learn, and continues the behavior that creates the conflict (i.e. an employee who doesn’t do their job, or a friend who takes you for granted). Another reason is that some people just create conflict based on their selfish behavior. Because they only focus on themselves, they tend to bring conflict into the relationship whenever you don’t pay enough attention to them.
A verse that has been very helpful for me, which helps to guide me in the conflicts of my life, is Romans 12:18- “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” What this verse tells us is that we can only do so much to bring peace to a relationship or situation. If I am in conflict with someone, or they are in conflict with me, I will do my best to communicate with them, and seek to bring resolution. At this point, hopefully peace has been restored. I can be at peace knowing that I have done my best to resolve the issue. If they are not at peace, that is on them, not on me.
On top of all of this, there is love. God calls us to love all with the love which God loves us. Whether we realize it or not, we are often in conflict with God. This too is a familiar conflict. The conflict comes from our sin and our turning from God’s way to choose our own way. But God keeps loving us and calling us back into a relationship with Him. With this as our example, we can look to love others in spite of our differences, challenges and conflicts.
What conflicts are you facing? Usually these conflicts aren’t random, but have a visible reason why they are there. Seek to resolve it through communication, bringing peace into the situation, and ongoing love. Blessings.