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When my thrust runs counter to your thrust

May 10, 2007

“When my thrust as a person – my hopes, dreams, wants, needs, drives – runs counter to your thrust, there is conflict. To sacrifice my thrust is to be untrue to the push and pull of God within me. To negate your thrust is to refuse to be reverent before the presence and work of God within you. Caring, confronting, and integrating your needs and wants with my needs and wants in our joint effort toward creating Christian community is what effective living is all about.”David Augsburger, Caring Enough to Confront

No matter how you look at it, relationships are hard. We each have our own hopes, dreams, wants, needs, and drives. Often they can conflict with someone else’s. Conflict is normal, but the key is how we handle it. People typically attack, withdraw, escalate, assume a false reality, or bring others into the conflict. Our goal with conflict needs to be to put God and his mission and purposes as the highest priority. We need to forgive and value the other person more than the conflict. We need to find a point of unity where together we pursue the heart of God, not the conflict. We need to admit our sinfulness and need for God, and to love the other person enough to sacrifice our own needs for their best interest. We need to live by the spirit and God’s standards, not our own.

Josh McDowell said, “It is more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship.”

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:16-26.

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