I have heard many people say that they hate confrontation or conflict. Of course, who would? Anyone who enjoys it must have some psychological impairment. I don’t mean debate or disagreement; that happens every day and we all should be able to live with it, but conflict with others is something we could do without.
However, conflict is a part of life; it’s almost inevitable in any society. We cannot just bury our heads in the sand and hope it goes away. AND it also occurs WITHIN us all. This is one of the things that shows our Lord’s humanity:
I’ve been reading a devotional by John Piper about Holy Week (yeah, it’s not an ‘apt’ time, but do we have to wait until Easter every year before we can look at Christ’s love and sacrifice at Calvary?). Piper highlights the choice Jesus made to go up to Jerusalem to be handed over to the authorities and to give up his life. He said “It is because I give My life that I might take it back again” (John 10:17 NLV). He resolutely ‘set his face’ to go to Calvary (Luke 9:51).
However, I recalled how also, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matt. 26:39). So while determined to go through with his self-sacrifice, he also desired that it not be required. Here we REALLY see his humanity; he wanted to shy away from this as much as any of us would. He had an internal CONFLICT!
Fortunately for us, right after this plea, he resolved it with “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
His own wishes were subsumed by his desire to carry out his destiny and the will of His Father. Whenever we face conflict within ourselves, we should (as always) look to his example.
Grace be with you.