why we MUST embrace conflict

I really don’t like conflict. In fact, I don’t think anyone does. 

Those who say they like conflict are either bullies who love a good fight OR are actually referring to the outcomes of conflict rather than the conflict itself. 

I love what healthy conflict accomplishes. 

Conflict achieves better results. 

Conflict ensures that all aspects of a decision, event or direction have been fully considered. When ideas are up for debate and discussion we refine and clarify them for best outcomes. Conflict means that we haven’t just settled for the easiest way or the idea that was presented first or loudest. 

Conflict refines our character. 

No one wants to be told that they’ve behaved inappropriately or that they’re being received in an unpleasant manner – but surely we’d rather the chance to change that through awareness and assistance rather than persist in ignorance? Conflict is necessary to acknowledge our sharp edges and give us the chance to smooth them down. 

Conflict strengthens relationships. 

Conflict builds trust. In relationships where hard conversations are lovingly navigated, misalignments recalibrated and, ways forward together are negotiated intimacy and trust are grown. Willingness to identify and endure conflict communicates a depth of commitment. Pressing in through the tough times is what forges strong relational connection. Ignoring issues over fear of conflict creates emotional distance, mistrust and, ultimately, separation. 

So how do we conflict well? 

HEALTHY CONFLICT – 

  • Debates issues not people.

Finding the best outcome means separating an idea from the person who presents it – otherwise we have to go with the decision that belongs to the person we like most or are more afraid of upsetting. We also have to be okay with our idea being trumped by a better one or refined by other thoughts without taking it personally. 

  • Is best when invited. 

Creating an environment where conflict is welcomed – through invitation and self-control in our responses – can diffuse some of the tension and apprehension. Giving others permission to speak frankly, critique honestly and call us to bigger and better in our behaviour and ideas won’t make conflict fun but will make it more healthy and edifying. 

The Warning Light of Jealousy #1

Hi. My name is Kimberly and I get jealous (a lot)!

**chorus – Hi Kim!**

It feels better to get that out. Confession is good for the soul!

Whilst I wouldn’t call it my friend, jealousy has definitely been a constant companion. More like an inappropriate friend-slash-stalker, always lurking, always nearby.

Jealousy, for me, centres around my (and others’) life stage. I’m single and childless – and not by choice or expectation. I am frequently jealous of the “coupledness” of others. I am jealous of the sense of belonging and connection they experience within marriage – they have their ‘person’. I am jealous that others go home from things with or to partners and families and I go home alone. I sometimes literally ache with the desire to be a mum – to be a little person’s person.

That’s the default of my unchecked, undisciplined thought life. I really love my life as it is now. I love the freedoms and opportunities that are mine to enjoy in this season. It’s why I choose to FIGHT the jealousy rather than let it embitter me. But it is a constant wrestle, a daily choice; a battle not always won. Continue reading