I am a former conflict avoider. One could even say I was a professional conflict avoider. Avoiding conflict has an enormous cost, though. In my experience the biggest cost is your integrity. I mean, what will you say or not say to keep the peace? What will you say or not say to avoid the ugly messy whole truth?
What I learned by reading books and then actually practicing what I read is that while conflict isn’t always bad, it is rarely easy. However when handled well- even if only by one side- it yields amazing results:
Your voice gets heard.
Others’ voices get heard.
Resolution is found.
Forgiveness is given.
Bitterness is uprooted.
The depth and health of relationships is uncovered.
Areas of growth are revealed.
Wounds are healed.
Assumptions are dismantled.
Conflict is NOT about winning and losing. The absence of conflict is NOT peace.
Conflict creates space for people to come together and collaborate. It gives people the option to choose truth and live in it.
Do I like conflict? No. It still makes my stomach churn and my head spin.
Am I willing to press into it? You betcha!
This post was inspired by Lysa TerKeurst’s Facebook meme. Thank you, Lysa, for stirring my heart.