Most people don’t enjoy conflict. We tend to avoid it if we can. I suppose there is something healthy about this. We certainly don’t want to enjoy conflict. However, there is something that is lost, particularly for Christians, when we avoid biblically handling necessary conflict. We could rightly say that in this case there is an unhealthy avoidance of conflict.
Conflict is an Opportunity to Deny Instead of Comfort Ourselves
Let’s think about the basis of our fellowship and relationship with other Christians. We are united—before anything else—by and through Jesus Christ. The way that we come to share in fellowship together is by individually sharing in the fellowship with Christ. So whether we are talking about a marriage, other family dynamics, or other friendships within the church, the primary basis for our relationship is the gospel. And, let’s not forget that the way in which we come to enjoy the benefits of the gospel is to admit that we are sinners who have come to realize our sin and our need for a Savior.
With this level of transparency why do we then proceed to live in such a way that we avoid conflict? Husbands and wives avoid necessary conversations because it makes them uncomfortable. Friends at church insist on not dealing with patterns of sin because it makes them uncomfortable. Do you see the painful irony here? The primary basis of our relationship is the fact that we admit that we are sinners and need a Savior, but then why do we live in such a way that says that we are neither sinners nor in need of a Savior? This type of living, even just a sliver of it, can make a marriage or a church unhealthy because it mutes the gospel and masks pride. Jesus calls us to a life of self-denial not self-comfort.