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How to deal with conflict in relationships

1 Timothy 2:1-8

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.                                                                                         1 Timothy 2:1-2

Don’t take sides.

‘There are always two sides,’ we hear, and it is true. In fact, given any dispute, there are probably more than two sides. And as human beings, we are not likely to be able to see the issue from all sides. We have limited capacities, and biases, and prejudices, simply because of where we came from and how we were brought up. This is true for disputes between individuals, community-wide problems, and national/international conflicts.

The United Kingdom, where I currently live, has been torn apart by the Brexit issue: whether to remain part of the European Union or not. There are Christians on both sides of the issue. Christians with very strong arguments on both sides. Christians I respect on both sides. Christians at each other’s throats over this issue. In many circles, it has become a taboo topic for the strong feelings it evokes. And many of us wonder, “Which side is God on?”

This is the wrong question. God is always on the side of peace and reconciliation. We see Him at work throughout history in many different political contexts. He was at work within the court of Pharaoh. He worked with the Judges of the Old Testament, and showered His blessings on Israel during the reign of the Kings. He brought salvation to the world under the empire of the Romans. He continues to work within democracies, autocracies, theocracies and dictatorships around the world. His blessings cannot be said to prefer any form of government.

I believe the same is true in personal disputes, as well as moral and theological debates. God loves every one of His children equally. He cares for us all. He sees the bigger picture, which we cannot. What is the correct view on homosexuality, abortion, warfare, or capital punishment? We may never agree, but we don’t have to. We can leave it to God, Who judges perfectly. Isn’t that freeing?

Instead of standing up for ‘our side’ or ‘our rights,’ our best response in disagreements is to listen and try to understand.

Let’s pray together, rather than pulling apart.

1 Comment

  1. Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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