Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee. — Matthew 5:23
When I was younger, I hated conflict. When I got into a situation where someone was not happy with me, I would tend to avoid them and the situation. I remember one such time when I had a conflict start with someone I knew. Something was said, and a pretty large disagreement began. I was uncomfortable.
They wanted to talk about it, and I avoided it. I didn’t want to be anywhere near the situation. Yet, I was in the middle of a conflict. So what did I do? I tried to make everyone happy on both sides of the situation. What a horrible mistake! It was not long until they figured out that I was trying to make everyone happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and honest in the situation.
I learned a difficult lesson through that conflict. I can’t make everyone happy in this life. I can try all I want, but someone is going to be disappointed in how I handle the situation. The truth is that I was trying to avoid the conflict. I was in fear of it.
We cannot fear the conflict that we face in life. It’s inevitable. But to deal with conflict, we must realize that the most important thing we can do is to put God first and deal with it from a Godly perspective. While we may not make others happy, we should address conflict in a way that God would be happy.
Maybe that conflict is taking a stand against sin or ungodliness. Maybe it is taking a stand for being a witness to someone when others would want to mistreat them. We are not called to avoid conflict. We are called to share the love of Jesus Christ with all. Sometimes that means taking a stand for something when others will not. It may create conflict, and that’s ok as long as we approach it from the mindset of God first and sharing God’s love through the example of how we deal with it.
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