Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Conflict of Interest


Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I have never been one to invite or initiate conflict. People who squabble, pick fights, and carry on arguments, vociferously and angrily, will never float my boat. Unfortunately, not liking conflict does not guarantee avoiding it; numerous times, I've found myself an unwilling target of unmerited attacks where the perpetrators bullied and belittled, hoping I would verbally battle back. I didn't. I remained silent while the tirade washed over me. While this may appear to be a stance of weakness, it is amazing to see how quickly the onslaught loses its steam, dying off with a cough and a splutter, when it fails to rouse retaliation.

In today's scripture, Paul is concerned about petty jealousies and points of dissension in the church at Philippi. He knows the vagaries of the human heart all too well. His admonitions on how they should behave as Christians is as viable for us now as it was for them then. If we humble ourselves, remembering that Jesus, in all humility, took on flesh and blood for our salvation, and value and place the interest of others above our own, I wonder what this world would look like? Mohandas Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

What can you do and say today to prove Mr. Gandhi wrong?

Readings
Psalms 119:49-72 or 49, (53)
1 Kings 17:1-24
Philippians 2:1-11
Matthew 2:1-12

4 comments:

  1. Amen!! There is a spirit of unforgiveness in today's church which is horrible...and sometimes it comes from the very top - the leadership, sister. They would do well to take note of you today. I hate conflict too...and would rather walk away than lower myself to verbal combat. I do stand up when Jesus is attacked though!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, Bernie, that standing up for Jesus would be the right thing to do in any circumstance. The ones I was referring to had nothing to do with Him and everything to do with power and intimidation. Incidentally, some of the worst experiences for me were from those who professed to be Christians.

    Thank you for your kind comments and for stopping by. Sure wish I could figure out how to comment directly to your blog, but will always leave a reflection or comment on Facebook.

    Blessings, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am definitely not one for conflict and found myself relating well with this post! You know, silence in the midst of verbal assault and negativity can be the only positive choice sometimes. At times we just need to let others vent, and it also gives us, if we can maintain our composure and intently listen, a really good indiciation of the problem behind the problem.

    I've always appreciated that Gandhi quote :) So true...! The world would be a lot different if we all truly walked out our lives like Jesus did.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your insightful comment, Jessica! It's always great to hear from you! :)

    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete

Give Thanks!

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. As our annual observ...