Archives For conflict

Grace When You Disagree

February 20, 2017

It seems there are more opportunities for division and disagreement right now than ever.

Many world events have caused Christians to take opposite sides on issues.

The recent election in the USA
The worldwide issues with refugees and immigrants
A global fear of the foreigner.

There are those embracing terms like evangelical and inclusive, while at the same time others are fleeing them.

Economic Disparity
Racism
Moral debates

Being unified as a church is harder than ever.

The apostle Paul had some experience in these areas.

He needed to bring together the arch enemies of the Jews and the Gentiles in the church of Rome. This required dealing with moral and cultural issues.

The church in Corinth was divided over spiritual gifts, freedom in Christ, and lawsuits to name a few.

Crucial Conversations

September 9, 2014

“Often when it matters most we tend to do our worst.”

Joseph Grenney, the author of Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, spoke recently at the Global Leadership Summit.

He suggests we ask ourselves what crucial conversation we are not holding or not holding well. When a conflict arises or a tough situation presents itself, how do we move through those conversations?

– At work do we tip-toe around certain people or issues rather than dealing with them in love?
– In marriage, are areas of finances, sex, or the in-laws out-of-bounds?
– With our children, do certain subjects always end up in frustration or arguments?

“We will either talk these things out or we will act it out.”

 We have all seen when there is a monkey in the room which never is discussed. We end up acting on this, making things worse.

Misunderstood Unity

February 23, 2014

I work in an organization which sends many short-term teams as well as develops working groups around projects.

I hear a repeated statement coming out of their meeting times.

“Give us unity….”

I prayed this with my teams for many, many years….until I realized what it meant.

Now, when I hear teams pray this, I cringe.

You have no idea what you are asking for.

Misunderstood unity believes the following:

“If we are unified, we will never fight.”
“Unity means we will agree and have similar views on the decision we face.”
“Unity is standing in a circle holding hands singing “Bind us Together.”

Wrong.

That view of commonality is not unity, it is cultic.

Group think is dangerous.

In Scripture, the most common analogy given for unity is the body, with many members working together. The members and their talents they bring are not the same, but the goal is.

“Poor people are lazy.”
“You must eat snakes and play with lions(if you live in Africa).”
“Americans are fat.”

People are famous for making assumptions and stereotypes. Often they are extremely painful.

We recently had a time on our missions campus of sharing different perspectives from various cultures. We laughed, we cried, and we felt each other’s pain.

I’m reminded of three things that I know to be true. It is also these three things that I need to be challenged to regularly apply in my life in missions.

1. Avoid Assumption
I know plenty of lazy rich people and even a few thin Americans!

No one enjoyes being boxed in by assumptions. When they happen in a cross cultural setting, it is easy to become isolated and critical. Victory comes when we don’t see each other by our nationality, skin color, or economic status; but rather as people.