Healthy Conflict Brings Peace

  1. Message:  In 2 Corinthians 7 Paul wastrying to reconcile with the church after he had harshly corrected them. It seems there was a period of time where was a division because of this correction and the church was being influenced by false prophets. Paul is assuring them that he had done nothing to wrong, defraud or corrupt anyone. He let them know that even though he grieved the harshness of the letter, he didn’t regret it because it was necessary for their repentance.
  2. Command:  Be willing to love people and be loved by people through conflict.
  3. Promise:  Peace and joy come after conflict and repentance.
  4. Warning:  We can’t confront without love and we can’t love without allowing healthy confrontation to come to us.
  5. Application:  Although we are not always necessarily in a role of correction like Paul was doing with the church, we do have to have difficult conversations with people we care about. The most important part of that sentence is “people we care about.” Healthy relationships are marked with the ability to have tough conversations- whether it is us raising concern with a friend, or a friend raising concern with us. We have to be respectful and honoring when we have these conversations but sometimes there is a hurt or a division after we do. It may be temporary, or it may be permanent but we have to enter and exit these conversations with a heart to reconcile people first with God and then with ourselves. Conflict is hard and sometimes peace seeking kinds of people either avoid it or try to take it back for the sake of peace when the poop hits the fan. What I really saw in this story today was the grief Paul went through in this process. He cared about them. He grieved the pain it caused, and he missed their comfort and fellowship when their relationship was strained. He expressed both his grief in doing the hard things, and his joy in their repentance and reconciliation. It was worth the pain and the grief because things changed. We can look at this in large scale situations or small ones. We want peace, but sometimes we have to fight for it with hard love. The pain and the struggle is worth the fight for better things.

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