On a journey...discovering who I am...the heart of a warrior...with a passion to worship God

Location: Canada

Why 'WorshipWarrior'? I am on a journey discovering more and more of who I am, and I believe one of the words God has used to describe who I am is a worship warrior. The worship part I can see; I absolutely love to worship God, to delight in His presence. The warrior part is not so apparent...yet. At times it seems to rise up and at other times I don't think I look like a warrior at all. But I believe this is part of who God has created me to be. And it's something I want to be. So I journey this road, trusting that God is willing and able to transform me into the person He has actually called me to be. Here is where I share bits and pieces of the journey.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Conflict, what conflict?

I've been thinking about conflict and the church. We're messed up. People want to avoid conflict, so instead of talking to the person they have an issue with, they complain about it to other people, who take up their cause and spread it to others. They think they have avoided conflict, but in reality, they've created a whole lot of it, by getting a bunch of other people riled up. I believe it's called gossip.

Or, instead of trying to understand someone who is different or who may not be perfect, we often judge them, creating a wall between us and the other person. We've made up our mind about that person and won't let them 'in'. This too, creates conflict, because it creates division between people.

Yet, if someone were to speak the truth to someone who might not want to hear it, we think that's creating conflict, because the person might reject what we say or worse still, reject us. We use the passages about 'taking the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove the speck of dust from our neighbor's eye', and 'as much as it is possible for us, to live in harmony with each other', to justify our inaction (I'm not speaking about those people who feel the need to speak their mind to anyone and everyone with no regard for people's feelings; they also create a whole lot of conflict with their malicious talk).

What's conflict and what's not? Let me rephrase the question: what is good conflict for the church and what is bad conflict? Jesus sure created a lot of conflict when he was here on earth. How can we tell the difference between the two?

Are we like the Pharisees, who focused on the wrong things and ignored the important ones? Why do we tolerate gossip and judging, but resist speaking the truth in love? Are we more worried about how we will feel than how the other person is affected? For example, when a person gossips, it makes them feel better because they are justified for the way they are thinking and feeling. Do they consider how the other person feels? Probably not. Their focus is on themselves. When a person speaks the truth to another person out of love and concern for that person, their focus is on the other person, not on themselves. They are willing to take the 'hit', the possible rejection that may come, because they care about the other person more than how they themselves will feel.

Are we just so self-centered and selfish that we can't move out of our comfort zones into truly loving one another? Isn't it our lack of love that keeps us from speaking truth to each other, even though it may hurt? "Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." (Proverbs 27:6) Isn't it our lack of love that feeds gossipping and judgement when there should be mercy and grace?


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