In Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas, great friends and co-workers, have a sharp disagreement that leads to them separating and working with different people.
As a notorious people pleaser I have been challenged lately to be ok with conflict. I used to run from it, avoid it, try to keep it at bay, but the Bible is pressing me to embrace it when necessary.
Much of the conflict that comes between two people comes from passions that do not align. As I read this story of Paul and Barnabas, it is hard to tell who is wrong. In other words, who should lay aside their passion? Sometimes that’s not possible and rather than forcing a unity that is conciliatory, at best, separation can bring a good result for everyone.
Do you think Paul and Barnabas stayed friends? We naturally conclude that their friendship was not just strained a bit, but was crushed. I think that is a faulty assumption and one that shows how inadequately we often see conflict. Friendship doesn’t always have to be on the line when there is disagreementa. Maybe it is not feasible to continue working together, but our friendships should go deeper than our philosophies on life.
Those are my ramblings on conflict. Would love to hear from others how they see conflict.