Healthy Conflict….do these words even go together?

If we are involved in any relationship, we are going to inevitably have conflict. I know a lot of romcoms may depict love and relationship differently BUT reality dictates that we WILL HAVE conflict…and I believe there is a way to have those two words HEALTHY and CONFLICT in the same sentence.

This weekend we looked at the story of Joseph and his brothers. NOW…this may not be a story y’all think “there’s some healthy conflict between those brothers; didn’t the older brothers plot to kill that youngest one?”

Well, yes, that is what happened in the story but there’s a lot we can learn from looking at this biblical story of conflict with different eyes. Let’s just run through the basics of what happened. Joseph was his father’s favorite son! His dad gave him a coat that was brilliantly colored and more fantastic than the other brothers coats. Joseph knew he was the favorite acted in that reality. One night Joseph had a dream that he shared with his brothers, they would all bow down to him one day! Then Joseph had another dream and, yes, shared it with his brothers AND his dad….ALL of you are going to bow down to me one day!

You can imagine the jealousy and contempt his brothers would be feeling toward him. I mean, he was the youngest, and in those days the inheritance always went to the oldest! They began to plot how to get rid of him!
SIDEBAR: This is not a way to walk in Healthy Conflict!

I believe one of the first questions we should ask ourselves when dealing with conflict, or relationships in general is “How healthy am I?”

You see healthy people care about making a difference MORE than making a point! It’s hard to feel not heard or like the other person is ALWAYS against you. BUT take a step back, is this the reality or are you living under false assumptions about the other persons intent. Are you caring more about YOUR POINT or are you considering how your conversation could make a difference in the other person’s life?

When Jesus was on earth one of the first miracles, He performed was to turn water into wine at a wedding celebration. People were amazed and wanted to tell everybody about it, but Jesus said, “my time has not come”. He surely could have made the point that HE WAS GOD, and everyone should listen to him BUT he decided to wait till God’s timing and when He wanted to reveal he was GOD’S SON! Surely if Jesus can be patient to share his identity and wait for the timing of God’s bigger plan, we can try to look for the bigger picture and furthered purpose of relationships that we are dealing with. So often we get caught in the trap of making a point instead of making a difference, yet the Bible clearly teaches us to share truth in LOVE not defensiveness, pride, or anger!

Another way we can lean into working to gain Healthy Conflict is to let GOD do the honoring. We don’t have to elevate ourselves! In fact, in the story of Joseph when he elevated himself “Hey brothers, you are all going to BOW TO ME one day” He opened the door for animosity, jealousy and anger in his brothers NOT a healthy brotherly love! In Joseph’s life as he learned that God was in charge and that in HIS timing all things would be made right, humility began to grow in Joseph’s heart, and submission to God’s plan and timing! Ultimately, his brothers DID bow to him BUT first Joseph had to go thru some humbling experiences!

Let’s make every effort this week to grow as a HEALTHY person OURSELVES! When we lean into making a difference instead of making a point and choosing humility and letting God do the honoring our lives will look more and more like the masterpiece God designed us to be!

If you missed the weekend talk…check it out here!