I DO NOT like conflict. I don’t avoid it necessarily but my stomach churns when I have to confront it. I’ll be honest with you too, when it happens I get pretty bent out of shape. “Why me? What am I doing wrong? Can’t anything be easy?” are phrases that will eventually come out of my mouth when I encounter it. When I am not in the middle of conflict, I am keenly aware of something. To follow Jesus is conflict. I really believe that. This morning I am doing my “read through the Bible in a year” thing. It was interesting because all four of the passages that I read through involved conflict. If I hadn’t been tuned into it, I would have totally missed it though.
In the Old Testament I encountered Saul trying to pin David to the wall. I would say that is conflict. I also went through a Psalm that talked about Israel in the wilderness going against God’s plan. Conflict. I also read a Proverb that compared the fool’s plan to the wise person’s plan. Again conflict. I flipped over to the New Testament and read about Jesus confronting the Pharisees and they actually talked about His mom! Seriously? If you want to tick off anybody you talk about their mom but Jesus? They kinda got what they deserved on that one.
Are you encountering conflict in your life? Have you made a decision to follow Jesus and seen people react negatively toward something you thought was a good thing? Welcome to the club! Be encouraged when you embrace Christ’s “way” and face conflict. It comes with the deal. When we are asking people to follow Jesus, we are asking them to swim against the current (culture/human nature). Expect resistance.