Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do You Like a Good Conflict?

It’s a strange notion isn’t it? To ask if you like a good conflict, that is. I found only recently, upon reflection, from a moment preparing for conflict, that there are certain conflicts I relish. I wonder if you’re the same.

This particular conflict was one I’d predicted and then when it came I just let it play out--me an integral part of it. It has to be said that on this occasion I was at least partially in the wrong (or on the wrong side) in this conflict. And the other party wasn’t backward in coming forward--and I relished it, because it cleared the air.

You know when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that a fight has just started. It’s not often good. But, it’s rather nice to have this feeling, and then with it, a sense of courage to do what needs to be done. I find that from a Christian’s viewpoint this is neither fight nor flight.

On the contrary, it is a pleasure to be wrong and to be able to admit it--or to have a flat sort of conviction regarding the road ahead. It’s liberating. The trouble is the other person doesn’t always get the same effect. I admitted I was wrong, apologised, and remained entirely respectful, yet they continued to fume--it doesn’t make sense.

But that, I suspect, is all about forgiveness. When we can live with our own failures and find the grace of God for ourselves, we attend to and reap God’s biblical ‘rest.’ We see here that in Hebrews 4 the writer outlines the important biblical concept. We cannot achieve the rest of God without the “faith of those who obeyed,” (verse 2) or if we harden our hearts when prompted by the Spirit. To enter the rest, being at peace with God and ourselves, we must be obedient to the Spirit of God, for God is Spirit.

So, in this sense, we can enter certain conflicts almost completely free of anxiety, for God goes before us (Isaiah 52:12) and gives us courage to either contend assertively or capitulate honourably--and all variations between.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.

No comments: