Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Three Opportunities in Conflict

Opportunity #1: Glorify God.
(John 14:1, 15-31; Philippians 2:5):
  • Trust God, rather than trust our practiced, sinful ways of responding to conflict
  • Keep God’s commands, rather than obey our sinful desires to serve ourselves first.
  • Imitate Christ, rather than imitate others who may sin against us.
Two questions to ask:
  • How can I glorify God through my response to this conflict?
  • How can I give a positive witness to what Christ has done for me in this situation?
Opportunity #2:  Serve others.
  • Help to carry their burdens (Galatians 6:2, 10).
  • Help them to change through constructive confrontation (Galatians 6:1).
  • Teach and encourage others by example (1 Timothy 4:12).
Opportunity #3:  Grow to be like Christ.
(See Romans 8:28-29. Also note 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 1:3-4; Hebrews 12:7-13).
  • The frustration of a conflict can help us to remember our need for God (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
  • Conflict helps us to remember who we are – baptized children of God (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-29).
  • Conflict helps us to uncover sinful attitudes and habits that we might otherwise keep hidden,even from ourselves (Psalm 119:67, 71).
  • Conflict provides opportunities for us to put off our “old self,” through repentance and faith,and to put on the “new self,” created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
  • Conflict provides opportunities to practice godly habits (1 Timothy 4:7-8; Hebrews 5:14).

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