Learning to Love in the Classroom of Conflict

In every relationship, every family, and every church, there is conflict. To be honest, most of us don’t enjoy conflict. It’s messy and uncomfortable. It exposes our weakness and makes us feel vulnerable. 

But God can use conflicts to make us more like Jesus.

What lessons can we learn in the classroom of conflict?

1) Love is kind.

The furnace of conflict often exposes our lack of love for others. Perhaps we get offended and retaliate with unkind words. To win an argument, we may resort to personal attacks. 

Though we may speak truth, we do not speak it in love. Our words pierce like swords and hurt others. 

But even in the heat of the moment, God expects us to show kindness. 

Kindness is not agreeing with someone. It’s not validating their beliefs.

Instead, kindness is treating others as we would want to be treated…with respect, sympathy, and goodwill.

Loving others means being consistently kind.

 

2) Love bears all things.

All of us have shortcomings, struggles with sin, and a natural bent toward selfishness. Yet we are often extremely patient with our own shortcomings and impatient with those of others. 

How many times has God shown mercy when we made mistakes? 

How many times has He forgiven us? 

God expects us to extend to others the same patience that He has given us.

Consider how Jesus modelled patience on this earth. He put up with unbelieving disciples, mocking crowds, and even traitorous Judas. 

Yet He showed kindness, grace, and mercy to the very end. On the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Loving others means being patient with their faults and weaknesses.

 

3) Love keeps no record of wrongs.

In Ephesians 4:32, God commands us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

How has God forgiven us? In Micah 7:18-19, the prophet writes, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?…he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” 

When God forgives us, He wipes our slate clean. He doesn’t keep a notebook of our sins to use against us. He doesn’t dig up old skeletons from the past. 

As far as God is concerned, our sins are gone forever. 

Since God has shown us such great mercy, we should show mercy toward the failures of others.

We should never remind others of their past mistakes and failures. 

Loving others means forgiving, forgetting, and never bringing it up again.
 

In the classroom of conflict, we learn to love others as He loved us. We learn to be kind, to bear all things, and to keep no record of wrongs. 

As we do so, the world can’t help but notice such a countercultural love.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

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Will you love others even in the heat of conflict? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am to learn more.

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com