Conflict is not the problem in relationships. It’s what you do with the conflict that means the difference dying and thriving.
Take a look at King Saul. Here’s a man who was anointed as the first king of God’s chosen people. He was popular and had considerable military skills. But Saul was eaten up with jealousy and fear, always seeking to guard his position, leading to disobedience and rebellion.
Saul’s jealousy created conflict, including isolation and division throughout Israel. The kingdom was at stake.
Here’s An Insight
You’ve been there: a conflict rooted in jealousy threatens to destroy relationships, families, business, ministries. “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (James 3:16, ESV).
During conflict, will you step away or step toward the other person?
If given free reign, Saul’s jealousy could have lead to irreparable, heartbreaking division in God’s people.
But God placed two unique individuals smack in the midst of this conflict and used their strengths to bring about unity.
Jonathan, Saul’s son, was his father’s confidante. His best friend, David – the source of much of Saul’s angst – was a dynamic, charismatic leader designated by God to become king after Saul.
Jonathan’s strength was in solving problems. He contrived a time, place, and signal to give to David, allowing the future king to escape when Saul’s anger escalated. Jonathan’s generous, predicable spirit embraced David’s future when he could have allowed envy and a lust for power to overtake him, especially since he was Saul’s oldest son and potential heir.
David’s strength was in facing risk resourcefully and courageously. He could have fought Saul’s evil intents, drawing blood and undermining Saul’s leadership. He didn’t. Once warned by his friend Jonathan, David slipped out of Saul’s clutches, raised an army, and defended Israel against enemies. He remained fiercely loyal to Jonathan. Even after his friend’s death, David cared for Jonathan’s lame son (2 Samuel 9).
God created each us with unique strengths and placed us together to accomplish His purposes. Our natural instinct is to step away from each other in the middle of a conflict. But that is not God’s intent.
Jonathan and David stepped toward each other.
Together these two individuals pooled their strengths and paved the way for God’s purposes to be accomplished in Israel.
How will He use you?
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