Living Together in Times of Conflict
The world and the neighbors are watching when folks in a church get into fights with each other. Jesus expects us to love our enemies, but how do we do it?
Conflict in Church – Curse or Blessing?
We usually think of conflict as something to be resolved or eliminated from church life. But there are some very real opportunities for those of us in the church to learn while we live through our conflicts with each other. The purpose of conflict in church is to help us learn to love our enemies in a place where we can practice forgiveness, love, and prayer with our opponents. Brothers and sisters in Christ are family, and we can’t choose our relatives.
Learning to Like Diversity
We hear that diversity is a good thing, but we often act as if we feel better around those who are just like ourselves. Some diversity is easy and interesting, but other diversity is uncomfortable because there are differences in areas that are important to us. We need to change the way we feel about differences in order to welcome the challenging kind of diversity. How can we learn to appreciate the very things that make us uncomfortable living with and working with those who are different?
How Praying for Enemies Changes Us
Do you want to change the way you feel about a person when that person is an opponent, an enemy, or someone you just don’t like? Prayer, by involving God in the way you feel, can make the difference. Praying for our opponents doesn’t mean praying that they will lose or that they will change to agree with us. Prayer means seeing our opponents from God’s eyes, and it opens us to God’s love working in us.