What we Believe in Conflict

It was my experience when I really wanted to help people some thought I had another intention.  This was painful, because the results ended up to be contra productive with emotional scars.  Did you ever do something and others believed you were out to harm them, while your intention was to indeed help them?

stoningConflict came hurling at Paul that day, one stone at a time. His Jewish brethren, proponents of legalism and opponents of the gospel of grace, spurred a crowd to throw stones at Paul – a crowd that only moments before had sought to offer sacrifices to him as to a god for his healing of a crippled man. After the stoning, Paul was dragged out of their city and left for dead. However, when his followers gathered around him, he got up and went into the city of Lystra and on to Derbe with Barnabas the next day. As they traveled, Paul and Barnabas, recognising that opposition and conflict are inevitable, encouraged the followers of Jesus they encountered, “encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said” (Acts 14:22).

The reason we all experience conflict is rooted in a system of wrong beliefs. We assume that what we want is what we need and that it is up to us to defeat those who oppose us. After all, if we don’t protect our interests, who will? This fear-based thinking causes us to selfishly respond by either attacking or avoiding people or situations we perceive to be threatening.  This causes us to have a wrong belief: “I am afraid of conflict because it reflects negatively on me. To feel secure and significant, I must get rid of conflict by either conquering it, compromising it, or avoiding it.” Instead we should perhaps a better belief when it comes to conflict: “I know that conflict is a natural result of living with different types of people. My sense of security and significance is based on my identity in Christ and in His perfect love and acceptance of me.”

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”