Clifton Bartholomew 16 Jul 2018 sunday blog 

I recently read a book titled “The Giver”. It is a book set in a futuristic environment where people are living in perfect towns which have no crime, no hunger, no money required and no violence. On the surface it seems like a wonderful place to live but as the book continues, we discover that to obtain such perfection they give up so much of their own individuality and humanity; there is no diversity, no differences, no choice, no love. All these things are deemed too risky for peaceful living together and thus are removed through strict laws and scientific medication.

This book got me thinking about conflict. Conflict that we have with loved ones, friends and strangers. We all long for “perfect” relationships and communities where no conflict and difference exists. Can these occur? Can we live in relationships that are “perfect”? Can we get to a stage in a relationship where we do not argue and have resolved all conflict? I don’t think that this is possible. What would we have to give up for this to happen? We all seek and love vastly different things in life and it is these differences that make us wonderful, yet it is these differences which cause conflict.

I came to some sort of conclusion that we should not seek to avoid conflict, but rather learn how to have healthy conflict. I see this is the approach that Jesus takes, not to avoid conflict, but to ALWAYS approach people with love. Jesus was continually confronted with conflict and difference. It was HOW he resolved it that always amazes me

My goal this week is to remember during time of conflict that others are also going through a tough time, that it is not the conflict which defines our relationships, but how we resolve it that makes the difference. This week I am going to try my best to add love and grace to any conflict, just as Christ did.


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