Conflict is sparks flying. It is emotions rising. It is experiencing what most of us think we would rather avoid. Yet, sometimes conflict is necessary. When we speak up for the slandered. When we defend the defenseless. When we risk our reputation to protect the innocent.
But our actions can only resolve part of the problem. The slandered might still feel worthless. The defenseless might still feel powerless. And, the innocent might still feel betrayed. These are reactions that continue to harm.
Conflict then shows us another face. It fights for the hearts that sink into despair. It fights against the lies that drag them there. Yes, conflict is sometimes called love.
An unsettling thought seeped into my mind. Someone didn’t respect me. Why? Because I didn’t meet up with their personal expectations.
I looked out the window, stunned. Should I inform them of my inherent worthiness? Grieve at my helplessness in the situation? Or slam the door and walk away?
A verse came to mind. Jesus “was despised and rejected…, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) Yes, he grieved, but it didn’t change his attitude. He said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:9)
It really can be a domino effect. Jesus treated everyone with dignity and respect, just like God treated him. We can do the same, even if we have to walk away.