What’s your favorite movie? What is the main conflict or struggle (the drama) that makes it so memorable? Some of our best memories in life will, no doubt, have quite a bit of conflict in them and how that conflict was overcome. Conflict often comes from a variation or clash at any given moment between two people’s personalities or goals. Sociologists have attempted to show where conflict begins. As Christians, we know it often is a result of sin. No matter what relationship you are talking about (friend, coworker, or spouse), Jesus reminds us that resolving conflict is a part of our calling as a Christian and follower of Christ.
Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome about learning from the peace we have in Christ. He talks about being peacemakers. He talks about growing in Christ and showing Christ in that growth. Paul wanted the Romans to know that even in persecution, suffering, and facing death, we can reveal the peace of Christ in our hearts and His merciful work that has shown us that peace through His death for you, me, and all the world who were and are His enemies by our sinful nature. Jesus said He came to bring peace for our souls in view of the salvation He won for us.
Knowing this peace, growing in the peace, and sharing this peace will bring conflict. We tend to try to put out the smoke (or symptoms) of our conflicts without searching for the fire (the root). Like smoke to the eyes, bitterness breeds grudges that make it seem “impossible” to forgive. Jesus models His love for us (Ephesians 4:31-32)! It’s not about keeping score. It’s not about who is right. It’s about being a part of the solution, not the problem. Admit mistakes. Don’t just say “I’m sorry,” show it through your actions. Like the movie, be the hero of the conflict. Look to Christ, who was and remains the hero of our greatest conflict of sin!
Every conflict needs a plan, and every plan needs prayer. Behind a strong plan and prayer is Jesus, who wants to walk with you in this peace of His love and wisdom from His Word!