Thursday, 1 August 2013

What’s Your Point of View?


For anyone who has taken a psychology course you will be familiar with the following image:

There are two distinctly different images contained in this sketch, one of a lovely young woman and the other of an old lady.
The same could be said of conflict.  I can view conflict as a necessary evil in a fallen world.  There are ample versus in Scripture that reinforce the notion that conflict will always be with us.  We are constantly being encouraged to seek peace.

      ·       Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace. . . .” (Rom.14:19)

·       “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3)

·       “Make every effort to live in peace with all men. . . .” (Heb. 12:14)

While being peace keepers and peace makers are admirable traits perhaps God has a redemptive purpose for conflict.  God wants us to become more like his Son, conflict can conceivably help accomplish such a purpose.  Assume for a moment that a husband and wife are in conflict over finances.  Also assume that because of the environment in which they grew up they came to marriage with diverse views on spending, saving and debt.  Perhaps God is using this area of conflict because neither of you has a Biblical view of finance and He wants you, as a couple to grow in this area of your life.

Dave Ramsey, Christian financial expert, offers five Biblical principles that should be followed:

1)      Get out of debt.
      2)     Act your wage.

3)     Get on a budget.
      4)     Save and invest.

5)     Give.

Dave Ramsey
When it comes to conflict it is not unusual for couples to argue about the same subject for long periods of time, never bringing them to a satisfactory resolution.  Often these protracted disagreements occur because of what Emerson Eggerich calls the “Crazy Cycle”, i.e. the wife responds without respect and the husband then responds without love.   The Crazy Cycle can be started by either party.  In essence neither is obeying the Biblical mandate of love and respect called out in Ephesians 5:33 let alone solving the problem that has vexed them for so long.   How much more effective would it be to look upon the disagreement as a teachable moment, that God is using this topic or situation to grow one or both of you.

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