Conflict Is Good

From the editor

God uses conflict, disagreements, even pain in groups. He works through these "obstacles" to bring about his purposes. How?

First, although we see ourselves as a "group," God sees us as individuals whom he loves and values and wants to work through as his ambassadors. God has chosen to get his will done through people, and he values each one of us individually. I must remember that when I do not agree with a brother or sister in the Lord.

Second, each individual in a small group is unique. If all of us thought or spoke or acted in exactly the same ways, we would be no more than the computer you are sitting in front of now. Imagine how boring it would be if each person in a group were programmed to output the same information. What would your group be like if at every meeting everyone always agreed about everything? Peaceful? Maybe. Boring? Definitely. In fact, there would be no need for discussion in that kind of group. What would there be to discuss?

God has made us uniquely, each of us with our different ways of seeing things, each of us with our different ways of doing things, each of us with our different ways of communicating things. Rather than seeing something we disagree with as "wrong," we should try to see it as a "different angle" (unless, of course, one of us is in conflict with God's Word). God uses our different ways of seeing, doing, and saying things to accomplish his plans.

I found the following piece of advice on the ICL (Institute for Christian Leadership) leadership mailing list. The writer, Mark Nelson, makes some very good points about how we should view conflict in the church:

We are in the middle of a couple of controversial issues within our church, and I find that the conflict and the emotion (the ...

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