“By 1914, the brothers quit the Ford motor company…”
I saw this commercial while I was on the mainland and it made me think…
I bet that the Dodge brothers leaving the Ford motor company wasn’t done quietly. I bet there were plenty of heated meetings, and emotions involved. Most likely relationships severed, and harsh words were said, and feelings were hurt.
It made me realize that I always see conflict as a bad thing.
But in the case of the Ford and Dodge brothers, conflict led to innovation.
The Biblical example of conflict that comes to mind is Paul and Barnabas.
Acts 15:36 “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabus took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”
The happy ending of this biblical story is that there was reconciliation. Paul calls for Mark in 2nd Timothy and calls him helpful. And also in Colossians, Paul mentions Mark as a fellow prisoner.
I read a quote by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM. “Disagreements don’t cause disunity, a lack of forgiveness does.”
Another quote that Ed Funderburk posted on facebook recently was:
“Weak, arrogant leaders feel offended when you disagree with them. Strong, humble leaders explore dissent!” (via @ricklgodwin)
I don’t quite know what I’m trying to say in this blog post. I guess I’m thinking outloud about conflict, disagreements on how things are done, and strong very opinionated clashing personalities, which are a part of life. The raw emotions that sometimes rear their ugly heads during these times are a part of life too.
I wonder if we would have found Jesus’ tone of voice when He was rebuking Peter offensive. I’ve often said that if the Apostle Paul was alive today, we’d probably think that he wasn’t pastoral enough. He’d probably be kicking our butts, and not mincing words.
I wonder if we would think that Jesus and Paul needed to mature in their character, to be more wise in their speech.
Can you imagine being the other disciples that were there when Jesus rebuked Peter? When Jesus says to Peter, “GET BEHIND ME SATAN!” And the other disciples are like… uh… awkward turtle, and try not to make eye contact with one another. One of the more empathetic disciples thinking about how to tell Jesus that Peter didn’t have bad intentions…
I often pray for wisdom and discernment, of when to be loving, and when to give tough love. Because giving tough love and being disciplinary is a part of being a leader and an adult, and it’s not fun. It’s interesting though, when I worked with at risk high school kids, I had no problem, at times using a harsher tone or raising my voice when dealing out discipline. It almost seemed necessary at times.
So what does conflict and discipline look like from a Kingdom perspective?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.