Conflict is one thing that is almost inevitable in our livesand therefore it must be discussed. Most of the ideas come from Ken Sande’sbook titled “The Peacemaker.” The words,however, are my own. I will start with this: If our purpose in life is to serveGod, then how does conflict fit into this? Conflict is an opportunity forchange. That change can either be negative or positive but thanks to God, we dohave a say in which way that goes.
First ofall, I would like to share how I have come to love conflict. When I was anon-believer, all I wanted was to have fun and I didn’t care about anybodyelse. I knew there was a God, but I didn’t think he cared about me, and thuswhy the heck would I care about him. Then I got saved, and I continuously askedGod to help me grow, learn more about him, and bring me closer to him. Let mewarn you from first hand experience that he will give this to you if you ask itof him. My thirst turned purely to knowledge after a year and I researched manytheories, as well as the Bible, but I still had this craving for God. Lastyear, when I lived with my Dad, away from my three sisters, it was easy for meto just think about what I want to do. I still studied God’s word but it becamemore of a routine than desire. One great thing about last year is that I had myidealism challenged at school and home and still I found that staying to thehigher road is the best answer for me. I will always be a idealistic fool wholoves the lord with all I am. I had my ups and downs during the year and stillstrived for God but I had lost my fire that kept me going. Towards the end ofthe school year, I realized this and asked again for God to challenge mebecause I learned that if you are not growing closer to Christ, then you arefalling away, which is what I was doing.
These challenges I ask for are inessence conflict. Whether internal or external, they challenge me to get out ofmy comfort zone and rely on God’s power, not my own, which is what brings mecloser to him. I would say that laziness is my greatest weakness because when Irefuse to challenge myself that I stop growing closer to God, which I pray Inever to because I have a long way to go. Conflict can also break us which arebad for us Christians because it makes us malleable to the influences aroundus. The evil was is out there as well so do not think that all conflicts aremorally beneficial and will end happily ever after. We live in an imperfectworld and life can be hard, but we have comfort in Jesus Christ, and the factthat everything will work out for a greater plan than we can even conceive. Theway we deal with conflict is what sets us apart from the non-believers inpublic appearance. I hear many times from Christians that they do not care whatothers think. I however do, because I carry the name of Christ on me when Icall myself and Christian, and my actions affect the way that non-believersview him. If we do not set ourselves apart from the world, then we could be inferringthat Christ is okay with everything that happens here in this fallen world.
Now I could try to write a bookwith plenty of examples explaining how to deal with particular situations thatyou may come across as was done in the book I mentioned above, but I doubt manywould read it first of all because the book I would attempt to write wouldprobably never get past my dad’s correcting, let along the publisher’ andsecond of all because you would most likely not spend the time to read itbecause it would be easier to just ask someone for the specific example you arelooking for, which is what I ask of you to do. I ask you that if you are inneed of a practical example of dealing with a particular conflict and theGodlike way to approach it, that you ask of someone whom you can trust. Thebest I can do for the most of you now is to show you the perspective I learnedthat helped me get my priorities straight in a conflict. It was laid out for mestraight in the Bible but it took me a while to soak it into my brain. Matthew22, verses 37-40 clearly state to Love God with all you are, then love otherslike you would yourself. When dealing with conflict, even simple ones, itbecame much easier to understand what God wanted me to do when I rememberedthis verse.
The thing we have to do asChristians when going into conflict is change our perspective. When most peoplego into conflict, they only have to look after their own interests. We asChristians, however, serve God’s interests above our own. We should put theinterests of others above ourselves because that is the way of love which iswhat God taught us. This was hard to put into words but is even harder to putinto practice. I challenge all Christians out there who are reading this totake this new perspective into your conflicts. Don’t complain about conflict;use it as an opportunity to glorify God! The more I have gotten to know God,the more I have enjoyed going into a hard situation where I have to put mytrust in him and his word, for that brings me closer to him.
Peoplejudge others people’s actions pretty frequently. How can we as Christians goand preach the word of God, which is love, to others when all we do in conflictis look out for number one and if it suits me to help others because it makesme feel better and I get something out of it, then I will. Logic and the wordof God can get us far, but if our actions are not in agreement with our wordsthen all we are is contradictors with good ideas. God called us to be differentfrom the world, to be set apart. I ask of you to join me in that in all times.Not just in the easy times, but in the hard times, for that is where the battlelay. I ask of you to take up your sword, which is the Word of God, and join mein this battle so that God’s glory might shine bright here and that the worldmay see that there is a God, and he Reigns! J