Usually I share on how to avoid conflict or overcome conflict, but David Arcos from Mosaic gave me a new framework to consider as he invited me to speak at Terra Nova, a retreat for creatives. Conflict can be a gift.
Here are 10 gifts that can come from conflict:
1. Conflict can help move us closer to God and toward depending on Him.
It is human nature that when we face conflict and challenges, we are more likely to pursue Him than when things are going well.
2. Conflict reveals our differences and, if we look for it, can help us find what we have in common.
Conflicts can help us discover others’ uniqueness, values and passions. Work to figure out what you have in common and build on that.
3. Conflict reminds us everyone has value.
Everyone has unique strengths and talents (no one has failed the Strengths Finder). Some of our gifts and strengths and personalities naturally tend to “oppose” each other, but when we are in healthy relationships and healthy community, our differences make us stronger together. Our areas of weakness are opportunities for us to partner with others who are strong where we are weak.
Can you see the unique ways God has crafted those around you? Do you help them maximize who they are, or do you just look to see what you can get from them?
4. When we experience conflict we are experiencing what Jesus promised.
He promised we would face persecution. (There is a difference between doing something good that is rejected and doing something bad that has unpleasant consequences).
5. Conflict shows you are going against the status quo.
People do not like change. People would rather experience an unhealthy known than take the risk to experience a healthy unknown. Conflict could be the direct result of the progress you have been trying to make!
6. Conflict helps us grow.
Conflict helps us see what we may have missed otherwise. We fight most with those with whom we are closest. We don’t have hard conversations with someone we don’t like or care about.
“A rebuke from a friend is like a kiss.” – Proverbs 27:5-6
“Iron sharpens iron.” – Proverbs 17:17