Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This week people at our church have been going through training on relationships. The most important part is learning that conflict will happen whenever the status quo is disturbed because one person or group in the relationship is dissatisfied or some stress has entered into the relationship. The difficult part for us to understand is that conflict can be good if it is handled in a way that honors both groups in the relationship because it can make both parties reassess the relationship and the assumptions underlying it. It can be bad conflict if one or both of the parties handles the conflict in a dysfunctional way, such as using demeaning or derogatory language.

Ironically, our announcement to do relationship training caused conflict, and unfortunately one person decided to respond divisively and with derogatory comments.

I might have mentioned this before, but a great little book, "Jesus Asked" by Conrad Gempf, pointed out that Jesus was rarely in conversations that lacked conflict. While we tend to have to have this image of Jesus just walking around laying down pithy statements, most of his conversations were questions that asked people to decide something. Not everyone left happy. But it was conflict handled in a loving way - intending to lift people up. People sought conversations with him, especially those considered "sinners." I think we underestimate the ministry of dialogue and good conversation.

While not wanting to stay in a constant state of conflict, it can be a good thing if both parties are learning and maturing from the experience. Just check out the Psalms if you want to see some real conflict happening...

Digg this

1 comment:

crazykarl7 said...

Shayna and I had a good one this week..but I'll let her tell it since she's better at telling stories..