We've Never Been More Divided: United in Conflict
During a time where we’ve never been more divided — social issues, the economy, leadership, family values, finances, culture — it’s still possible to experience unity in the midst of conflict in our relationships (Psalm 133:1). It’s easy to look at disputes and differing opinions as negative, but conflict does not have to be bad. It merely means we aren’t on the same page and don’t happen to see things in the same way — and that’s OK. Those differences can bond us in deeper ways than simply agreeing with each other all the time. But how many times does conflict trigger us in negative ways? It happens when we feel our rights have been violated, when our expectations aren’t being met, when we experience hurt and when we experience differing opinions. It’s easy to build up walls of resentment when something someone says or does triggers a sensitive part within us, but letting that unforgiveness and bitterness rest in our hearts causes those same things to flow out of us (Proverbs 4:23). Instead, when dealing with any sort of conflict, it’s important to remember that the other person is not the enemy — we’re on the same team as the other person, whether a spouse, family member or coworker. And though there’s a bit of fervor in the midst of any conflict, we must handle each other with care and control our emotions. In the moment when all you want to do is lash out with your words, remember that it takes an emotionally healthy person to remember that what they say affects the people around them (Proverbs 10:19; Galatians 5:22-23). Most of all, though, God calls us to forgive lavishly (Ephesians 4:32). Instead of fighting to be right or win, we need to instead fight for unity and His blessing.
2) How does God want me to handle the conflict instead?
3) Who do I need to forgive in my life? Who do I need to ask for forgiveness?