Monday, June 13, 2011
Sounds like a lot of churches to me. Aren’t we “Church Nice”? Isn’t our tendency to smile and pretend that all is okay, at least until the person is out of earshot, and then we say what we really think. We call it being “gracious.” Hmmm. I wonder.We really do have to learn how to fight in the church. I think there are two important things we need to learn in order to do so. We have to learn to listen and we have to learn humility.
Isn’t it interesting how explicit Scripture is? If you have something against someone, it is your responsibility to go to them (Matt 18:15). If you know your brother or sister has something against you, it is your responsibility to go to them (Matt 5:23-24). It is always your responsibility.
To often, we sense "attack" and grow defensive which means we never hear the actual point the "attacker" is trying to make. A lot of times, the point being made is a good one, maybe even one we agree with, but we have worked so hard to makes things the way we want them that the slight adjustment their point leads to cannot be tolerated. Nonsense - listen and learn.
There are no more important words in conflict than "You were right, I was wrong." Yes, a little humble pie goes a long way. And the most important aspect of it is it builds trust. How do you restore a relationship after conflict? If both sides do not admit their mistakes - then neither side can truly trust the other. Without trust there can be no real restoration.
In the end, that is why I think we just go along to get along. Our egos will not allow us to admit our mistakes, so we avoid conflict so that things can keep functioning on some level.
Problem is, they are not really functioning.