by Rob Campbell
One must work through the complex to get to the simple. Read that first sentence again and reflect upon its meaning for just a moment. Now, think with me how complex, overwhelming the scriptures can be for you and me. Frankly, there are some pretty confusing facets of the scriptures that require much thought, study, and appropriate understanding of history. But, Jesus helps us to move from the complex to the simple. Check out this example.
Read Matthew 22:37-40. Simply put, this text implores us to love God and man. Notice the vertical and horizontal relationships that are highlighted in the words of Christ. Indeed, effective ministry is hinged to love via our relationship with God and others.
Relationships have the propensity to be life-giving. There are as well some relational land mines like CONFLICT. Notice the following three observations about conflict:
Conflict is unavoidable
Conflict is difficult
How we handle conflict determines our success
Successful relationships; therefore, hinge on one’s ability to understand the causes of conflict. Here are a few examples:
Human Nature (“Cain had a problem with God, but he took it out on his brother”)
Divisive People (No matter where they are, they sow discord)
Hurting People (Hurting people hurt people)
Political People (Controlling people usually cause conflict)
Now, let’s return to the two greatest commandments. Love God and love others. Are you a person that can be used of God to bring restoration to conflicting relationships? You bet you are! You see, every cell will one day face conflict. It is inevitable. Successful resolution of conflict opens the door for a deeper relationship. Avoiding conflict resolution only exasperates the problem. Deal with the conflict using Matthew 22:37-40 as your motivation.