We come together in the Church with preconceived ideas and preprogrammed ways of doing things. Conflict is bound to happen as ideas clash, philosophies fail to gel, and methodology differs. The objective of getting each other on the same page “in Christ” therefore comes with its challenges.
What’s the Difference Between Good and Bad Conflict?
If by conflict we are talking about lack of agreement, that may not be a bad thing. Often when we come through the conflict well, we arrive at a better place than we might have been without the disagreement.
If, on the other hand, we are talking about clashing in such a way as to be antagonistic toward one another, it is not good. When disagreements become divisive, breaking our unity and fellowship in Christ, it is bad conflict. God commands us to “live in harmony with one another” (1 Pet. 3:8).
Read the series of articles on our main site:
- Let All Be Harmonious – Really?
- Let All Be Harmonious – What’s that mean?
- Let All Be Harmonious – How’s that going to happen?
- Let All Be Harmonious – What’s Stopping You?
When Does Disagreement Turn Bad?
When trying to work through our differences, there will be times we are at odds with each other. Disagreement turns into bad conflict when it doesn’t line up with our purpose to love God and love others. Relationships stripped of love during conflict not only hurts fellowship with each other but also dishonors God and even calls into question our love for Him. See 1 John 4:20-21.
Conflict must stay within the parameters of God’s love. That means the characteristics defining love must be present at all times. We should be able to resolve our differences without disobeying the Great Commandments. If we don’t, our disagreements have turned into bad conflict. The next post will look at the traits in 1 Corinthians 13 as a litmus test for church conflict.
Please Note: The Steering the Church Toward God’s Purposes Leadership Guide includes the content on this page.