Friday, April 22, 2016

Conflict ---> clashing values

Our greatest conflicts with others come as a result of clashing values. Values are simply those things that we have come to believe are most important. 

Values are subjective and personal. They may be real and valuable to us personally but they are not necessarily valuable objectively (God determines this, we do not. For a fuller discussion, after reading this post, come back and click here). 

These are things or areas we are personally and emotionally invested in. What you and I believe is valuable are often not the same.

Because we often are not in agreement as to what is most valuable, we clash.

(as a side note, what unifies the church is the midst of such great diversity is we have a common value that binds us together, God himself as revealed in Christ)

Conflict forces us to reassess our values and helps us determine what is really important i.e. Do I really have to have this to be happy? Do I love my partner and/or others more than I love this particular thing?

Much of what we value is the fruit of our brokenness. We settle on things from past experience that we come to value over time, and become emotionally vested in and attached to. These values are usually formed unconsciously, at the emotional level, not a rational one.

To understand and address conflicts we must know what we value and why we value it. The "why" is the hard part because it touches on our brokenness; our distrust and unbelief, which is usually hidden out of conscious view and buried very deep within us.

This conflict (a fruit of blindness and brokenness) is part of the pain and struggle of living in a broken world and why we cannot avoid it. We are broken, the world is in bondage, therefore we struggle. It is inevitable. See Joh 16:33

If our hope is only in the pleasures of this present world we will ultimately be disappointed. Our hope must be elsewhere; it must rest in the truly and infinitely valuable, God himself.

For a further discussion on hope click here

For a discussion how values shape culture click here

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Grace to you
Jim Deal