Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

08/20/2018 9:44 PM

Avoiding Conflict

08/20/2018 9:44 PM
08/20/2018 9:44 PM
It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always. (Philippians 1:20)
On Sunday we continued with the series on being a purple church, the kind of faith community who understands we do not always see things the same way and is willing to be in relationship with one another just the same. One of the goals is to help us learn how to not allow others to have so much emotional power over us, that it is in fact possible to remain yourself and stay connected.
We focused on the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones, that there will be times when we are the only ones in a group with the opinion we have. I went so far as to say that we should even seek this out. The problem is that most of us struggle with it. After all, we don’t want to have a confrontation, and we would simply rather avoid conflict altogether. But here’s the thing. You can’t avoid it. Conflict is part of life. If you don’t have conflict, you’re probably not doing much.
So what do you do when you find yourself in a conversation about a subject you feel strongly about? Here are a few thoughts:
  1. Some say speak loud and clear; let the other person know you mean business. I say speak humbly and clearly with respect for the other person’s dignity.
  2. Some say present your case with all certainty and conviction, even if you’re not quite sure. I say be completely honest in sharing that you don’t know everything and that you, like all of us, are still learning.
  3. Some say when things get emotionally heated, stick to your guns no matter what. I say when things get emotionally heated, be the mature voice and suggest taking a break to collect yourselves.
  4. Some say it’s about winning the argument. I say it’s about building the relationship, so try your best to respect the other person’s opinion.
These are just a few suggestions I have. Entering a conversation where there will be disagreement is not easy. It takes courage. It also takes the faith that God is in the midst of it, something I believe to be true.