Real Conflicts

WhatIsRealDevoThe Lord’s servant must gently teach those who disagree. Then maybe God will let them change their minds so they can accept the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)

Ponder It.
When have you grown from someone’s willingness to confront you?
When have you experienced confrontation in a negative way?
Do you tend to deal with conflict head on or avoid it?

Receive It. Conflicts are not good and bad in and of themselves. Authentic conflicts are those that are guided by God. When we rely on God through conflicts, we trust His timing, words, and resolutions. It’s okay to have different opinions. We have different interests. We prefer different experiences. We learn in different ways. We have different personalities. We’re going to disagree. But having differing opinions doesn’t presume one is right and one is wrong. God created us with variety. We function well together – when we seek and trust His guidance – because of our differences. Sadly, we often become consumed with our differences, seeing no way of finding common ground. We cease to work together. We separate from each other.

The goal isn’t to always agree. Respect the variety in which God created us, remembering each of us is created in His image. I can respect you. You can respect me. We can support one another despite our differences because we expect the differences and aren’t offended by them. We need to discern between spine issues and rib issues. Spine issues are the essentials. God is God, and He doesn’t change. His Word doesn’t change. His truth doesn’t change – no matter what our opinions or preferences are. However, there is a lot of liberty within His truth. God gives us space, because He gives us choice. Sometimes – often times – our choices get us in trouble. Rib issues are the areas that get us into trouble. We cling to them and fight to the death as if our faith depends on them, but we can live without a couple ribs.

Live It. Trust God to guide you when to stand up, sit down, speak up, or shut up today. Be aware of your default settings, because God will often guide you in a contrary way to your natural tendencies. He wants to know you’re listening and you’re willing to follow Him. Stop rationalizing your own preferences, and trust God through conflicts of the day.

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