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.
The other evening my son rang home. “Mum, I lost my bicycle lock key.”
Ten minutes later we stood over his locked bike. There was nothing left to do, but smash the lock. We found a brick, but the lock held fast.
Finally we gave up and headed home. “Whose lock was that?” I asked my son. “Yours, Mum,” he said.
I couldn’t believe it. The spare key was actually with me, on my keyring!
There are times in life when we will feel trapped like that bike, and no amount of frenzied lock-smashing is setting us free. Let me assure you, there is a key. Jesus, the locksmith, understands locks. He gives us the key. He says, “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) What misunderstanding is locking you up?