(09.29.21– Works of the Heart – Romans 14: 13-23)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there a path in life that helps us to communicate passively, avoiding conflict at every step of the way?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
"Hey, as a rule, I try to avoid conflict at all costs." This is the statement that I heard the other day as a friend and I happened upon a political debate between two mutual friends. I smiled and pressed to get closer. I was curious as to how it would turn out, and, I admit, somehow drawn into the fray with my own opinion. My friend, nevertheless, caught me by the coat sleeve and pulled me away. "We'd better leave them alone." he muttered. "Arguments over politics or religion really make me nervous. Let's not get involved." I turned with a frown and left our two friends to their debate; my friend with a sigh of relief and myself with a feeling of resignation. I wondered, nonetheless, how he could see it as pain and I see it as opportunity? Was I drawn to pain? I really began to wonder.
As Christians, is it wise to avoid conflict?
There is no rule in life that presupposes that all of us will communicate passively, avoiding conflict at every step of the way. Many marriages and friendships have remained tight and solid despite the fact that conflict has been a part of their overall experience. I've observed over time that basically everyone experiences conflict to some degree; even those who say that they "never fight" may not be pounding fists or shouting; but rest assured there is conflict going on internally, hidden within the often volcanic chambers of the human heart. For where sin dwells, conflict is always at home. basically, each one of us is a volcano of sorts. Some of us belch a bit of steam and ash at times. Others even show a stream of lava now and then. Neither is necessarily bad as long as these are controlled eruptions, beneficially relieving the pressures of day to day living. These eruptions can even lead us to help to better understand one another as we "get things off our chests" and open our hearts to the words of a spouse or a dear friend. The real danger is allowing hurts and grievances to fester d