Beliefnet

No matter where you turn, there’s always one thing that’s for sure – you’re going to find conflict wherever you go. Your intentions could be the best of the best yet, you’ll still find yourself face-to-face with a complicated situation that causes you to question your morals and ethics. The real problem with conflict is not that it exists, but is how people choose to handle conflict – and that lies the real problems within our society.

Everyday people claim to be Christians yet, they verbalize ill comments and act out because of the conflictive nature they are facing. Society is quick to judge these people by proclaiming them less of a Christian because they reacted negatively. But, does a mere reaction mean you’re not a Christian? The answer is absolutely not! Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you’re going to live free from mistakes. In reality, as long as you’re living for Jesus Christ and doing your best that’s all that can be asked of you. Now should a Christian react to life’s conflicts with a hot headed nature? Of course not, but mistakes happen and we as Christians must move on. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and he would want us to also forgive the sins of our sisters and brothers.

Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” While conflict is inevitable, it’s important to recognize the hatred that lies within conflict and how the negativity can consume those who are suffering from conflictive natures. As Christians, we must be willing to look for the good within the evil and find a way to still love because in the end love will prevail.

True Christians recognize the reality behind the day-to-day life of the average person and they do not hold grudges. In many cases, it may appear to be easier said than done to let hurtful actions go. However, Christians must have a wider lens and be able to accept the good with the bad. There may not always be a black and white solution to the problem, however we can demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ as a response to a hateful act.

Matthew 18:16 says, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’” The only real way to combat conflict is to go at it with a great deal of wisdom, grace and love. And those who are called to deal with difficult conflictive situations should practice spiritual maturity that is lined thick with patience and kindness. Sometimes conflict calls for reinforcements and is not something that can be handled by one person – in many cases an entire community is truly needed in order to overcome a difficult situation. This is where Matthew 18:16 truly comes into play – it’s important to accept help from others and understand that there is no shame in a helping hand. In fact, you’ll grow into a stronger person if you’re able to accept assistance throughout life. This doesn’t make you any less a Christian. However, it does mean that you’re listening to the following of Christ and you’re willing to succumb to his teachings and plan.

Conflict causes people to lose sight of what’s important because they allow conflict to fester. Matthew 5:25-26 speaks about this and says, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Christians need to understand the importance of letting go. Jesus laid his life on the line for all of our sins therefore, it is our duty as his children to settle our own matters in timely manner. Conflict blinds everyone and steers hearts and emotions into endless circles.

With all that said you’ll turn on your TV tonight and see the faces of wanted people because they acted out and allowed conflict to take over their lives. Do Christ and yourself a favor and do not judge. This is a big part of being a Christian – you’re vowing to abstain from casting judgment. Instead pray for them and ask the Lord to guide them through this difficult time within their life. Look for ways you can use your faith to guide those around you and help them from creating these mistakes that you see all over the news. Christians make a difference and do not allow conflict to take over their lives.

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