Running from a fight.
As I survey the world into which I find myself flung, I’m noticing something odd. People are continually seeking peace at any price they can find. As someone who is considering a life calling in the marketplace, my instincts scream to not purchase a commodity that is over-priced. However, many seem more than ready to slap down the deed to the house over their head on the table for an illusion of “peace”, “safety”, and “business as usual”. This troubles me… particularly as history continues to hurtle towards the return of Jesus.
Now, it is understandable that peace is highly desirable. The only people that enjoy conflict are slightly-to-completely psychotic (think Pol Pot or Hitler). However, you then turn around and see people like the Nation of Israel signing over portions of their nation, or their national sovereignty for an empty promise of “non-violence”. While to some degree this would be expected in the world (what with not having an “eternal hope” as Paul stated), this idea is starting to filter into the church as well. People would gladly sell their own soul just to have some peace and quiet so they could go about their business. This is setting the stage for the great deception of the Antichrist at the end of the age.
Case in point, Joyce Meyer (a speaker that I have had much respect for) has just published a new book that is sure to be a New York Times bestseller called “Conflict Free Living”. More of the so-called spiritual literature coming from the church is becoming increasingly similar to the “Self-Help” section at the local Barnes & Noble. It is a flat out falsehood to consider promising people a conflict free life, because Jesus Himself said “In this world, you will have trials and troubles. But do not fear, because I have overcome the world.” Beyond that, since when are we supposed to be more concerned with our domestic tranquility than we are with having the truth in our hearts? The nature of truth is that it divides the otherwise ignorant masses into two camps… those that believe it and those that don’t. If we truly have the Truth, we will have conflict at one point or another. Until Jesus returns and every person on this planet has a living revelation of the truth, those that do have it at all will face conflict. As uncomfortable as that is to think about, we shouldn’t be surprised by it either.
Don’t be worried about conflict. It is part of being human. Feeling the force of friction just means we are striving to move forward (pardon my alliteration). The problem with friction is that it also raises the heat. I fear that we are getting so adept at insulating ourselves from conflicts that we are neglecting to allow our character to be improved by them.