We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:19-21
Being learners of Jesus means seeing the gospel come alive in every area of our relational lives. We must begin to understand that our love of God is intimately related to how we treat people around us. Growing as disciples is about seeing even the toughest of moments captured, transformed, and renewed into new creations in light of the gospel. One of those tough relational areas is when we find ourselves in conflict.
Conflict is usually seen as destructive, leading to hurt, mistrust, pain, alienation and a host of other things. And most of the time that's the end of the story.
Not so with the gospel.
The good news is that even in conflict we can begin to see opportunities – opportunities for reconciliation, deeper understanding, healing and deeper trust. A huge factor in whether we will start to see more opportunity and less destruction is awareness.
The unmanaged conflict cycle helps us become aware of what is happening in us when we feel tension and confusion in life, and we can see how those things are normal, but often lead to destructive rather than restorative consequences. So like a check engine light on a car we can see the path we are heading down and begin to question our next steps and responses in light of the gospel of Jesus. The first step in seeing God change us is to recognize with Him where we have missed it and ask Him to teach us to trust His way again.
Adapted from Ron Classen - Adapted from Shawchuck
This post is a resource to those that are going through the 1 Corinthians 4-7 Life Group Guide. The above graphic appears in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. You can download the Life Group Guide here.