Last week I posted about the need for diversity in our committees, in our lives, and among our personalities. There is another way we celebrate diversity, but sometimes this diversity causes conflict.
Because each of us are unique, we each have unique preferences for how we connect with God. For some it’s a walk in the woods or the roar of the ocean that reminds us of God’s greatness. Some like singing loudly with arms raised, while others prefer to be on their knees in silence. Regardless of how we like to worship, God insists on a time of togetherness, where His children gather to express their love for Him. We call this corporate worship. And this is where the conflict happens.
When I was a youth leader we were having conflict in our church between the teens and the older people. We put together a panel representing both groups, invited the church to attend, and spent time gaining answers to what seemed like conflicting behavior. An example was dress.
The teens dressed casually while the older folks wore their “Sunday best.” The casual dress represented disrespect to the elderly, while the fancy clothes seemed arrogant to the teens. The teens shared that they felt God was father, and as such they were more comfortable approaching Him just as they were, while the older folks shared that they felt God deserved their very best, thus the good clothing. This was an awakening for both groups. Perhaps they were not as different as they seemed.
It has been my experience that most conflicts are the result of different attitudes, neither being wrong, just misunderstood.
God created us with brains, and with mouths, and yet how seldom we use either to resolve conflict. Now, with the era of impersonal communication devices, communication face to face is becoming lost. We need to learn to talk to each other, discuss the uncomfortable topics without becoming defensive. We need to learn to listen.
We are living in a world of diversity, and yet we try our best to limit God’s creation.
Have a good week. Revel in the diversity all around you!
A grin of love
March 31, 2015
Christians in the World 2013-14
November 10, 2014
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