“Nothing tests your obedience to Christ like conflict” (Copied). Read that two more times, then think about it awhile.
Conflict is part of life. People disagree, have different beliefs, opposite opinions… perspectives… or views. We think (Know?!) we’re right, the other person (Or people) think they’re right. And there comes the rub… whether it is politics, theology, or just an average every day decision.
Some aren’t all that important (MOST aren’t important in the big scheme of life). Others rise to a different level: How to be saved, Gay marriage, Divorce and remarriage, Baptism, and a host of other things… depending on the individual. What is an essential to one is not that big of a deal to the other. But for sake of argument, let’s take a “big deal” issue and think about it.
In Corinth Christians were suing each other. Regardless of the situation… who was “right” or “wrong,” Paul had an interesting perspective. He wrote in 1 Cor 6:3-7…
Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? ESV
“Why not rather be defrauded?!” Paul is saying it is better to take a hit and “lose” that bring disrepute on the name of Christ! Think on that. Consider it seriously. “Losing” publicly is better than winning. Kind of sounds like “The first shall be last” doesn’t it? Paul’s point is the reputation of Christ and the name of the church in a community is better than “winning” a debate or argument.
Oh how many times would the name of Christ shine if God’s people would choose to forgive… show mercy… be compassionate… and love! Instead, they have to “win.” And in so doing they lose… massively.
Nothing tests our obedience to Christ like conflict. Forgive… Love… Show mercy… be patient… take the hit. In so doing you will hear Jesus say one day, “Well done good and faithful servant.”