Conflict avoidance, or Keeping the peace?

I was having an email discussion with a very good “friend”, quotation marks because I have never met them, in person, amazing how technology changes our lives, about relationships, as they relate to our faith and our belief system. Not sure how that morphed into this thought, but, I realized something about myself. There are movies (old favorites) that I watch with my hand on the control so that a certain point I stop it because, as I said earlier this week, I love happy endings as I have lived through unhappy ones and hate watching a relationship disintegrate in front of me, just can’t do it.

That probably sounds ridiculous to you; just let me by with it! I don’t like conflict!

Romans 12:18 says:  Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” King James put it simply; “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man will see the Lord. That seems easier said than done. People, especially anyone that is pretentious or downright rude, get under my skin quicker than anything else. The art of biting my tongue sometimes needs a little polishing, I do have someone that is trying to tame my tongue a bit, and as I get older I have noticed my “edit” button is defective! I sometimes use conflict avoidance as conflict prevention, but it can make a person think you are agreeing with them when you are not!

In research I found a team of doctors, Turner and Weed, which had written a paper on it. They divide us ‘avoiders’ into three categories: First there are the Feeling-swallowers who swallow their feelings (me). They smile even if the situation is causing them pain and distress. They behave thus because they consider the approval of other people important and feel that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing their true feelings. Second is “Subject-changers” (guilty again) who find the real issue too difficult to handle. They change the topic by finding something on which there can be some agreement with the conflicting party. Third, there are “avoiders” who go out of their way to avoid conflicts. Yes, again I see me here. I do try to be nice, but if you want to see my inner lioness come out attack my belief, my faith, my God, and you have just seen me come forward in attack mode.

I recently heard the host of a program I was watching refer to God, our Creator, as a “higher cosmic power, or whatever or whoever you think it is“. This has to be a person who has never had a personal relationship with God. They may have gone to Sunday School class and heard all the stories, but they never met the author of the Book, if they had they would never be able to simply dismiss Him as a cosmic being. He is my friend and the gift of eternal life He gave,\ is one that I would not give up, nor neglect.

Hebrews 2:1-4 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, and then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit.

So, although I try to “keep the peace” with all men, stay holy, and avoid conflict, I am bold in my faith and I stand up for Jesus, the One Christ, if that means conflict then bring it on!

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