Christian Counseling - Source Of Conflicts II

In September 2009 I wrote about Source Of Conflicts (I). The Bible reference was James 4:1-3:
"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?" It basically says that we desire things we don't have and go about getting them in ways that create conflict. And it says, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..."

Our carnal or sin nature is one chief reason why we have conflict. But, conflicts also come from God, the devil and people's mistakes. Therefore, we must discern the origin of each conflict to know how to respond. Before king David was king he sometimes found the discernment to be very difficult. For quite some time, David could not figure out if God directed King Saul to kill him or that Saul (man) was responsible for this bloodthirsty quest (I Samuel 26:19).

Some conflicts (trials) come from God. Philippians 1:29, 30 says, "It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you say I had, and now hear I still have." I Peter 4:19 says that, at times, we suffer according to God's will. In these conflicts we are to courageously endure for Him who did the same for us. We talk with God about these problems and look for support from other Christians.

Some conflicts come from the devil. Revelation 12:9, 10 tell us that Satan (devil, dragon and serpent) deceives and accuses people. His purpose is to confuse, frustrate and destroy. In verse 11 we are told to be overcomers of evil through the salvation of Jesus and righteous attitudes and behaviors. We resist him and draw close to God.

Lastly, some conflicts come from people. Beyond the sin nature that rests in the hearts of every person we also make errors and mistakes. People don't intend on hurting anyone when driving and texting, but it happens. We don't mean to offend others with our words, but we do. We manage these conflicts through things, like: getting wisdom, learning to be patient and extending grace--forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, acceptance, etc.

On the flip side of conflict, there is righteous fighting. We also fight for things, like peace in our relationships and truth to rise above falsehood. For example, Jesus said to his disciples, "'Do not think I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword"' (Matthew 10:34). Here family members are in conflict with each other over whether or not Jesus is the Messiah. Also, in the last days, Jesus will return to fight the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).

Some of our conflicts are unavoidable, but how we understand and manage them is up to us, and that can mean all the difference in our experience and the outcome.

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