Let me get right to the point, conflict for the Christian is inevitable. Lately I’ve heard far too many Christians say, “I don’t want any conflict.” I know what most people mean when they say that—“I want to live peaceably and I don’t want to be argumentative,” or they don’t want to be combative, and they want to avoid the possibility of a damaged relationship. Believe me, I get that, and at some level that is admirable and advisable. However, if we are going to take that attitude into every area of our Christian life and every challenge we encounter, before we know it, we won’t be standing for anything, let alone Jesus!
The fact is, no matter how loving, kind, patient and gracious we try to live, and no matter how inoffensive, non-combative, and compassionate we try to be, there will come a time, as a Christian, when we will have to take a stand for Gospel Truth. And, this stand will cause conflict and contention with those people empowered by the forces of darkness.
I ask you, for the sake of Gospel Truth, and for the sake of Jesus, are you willing to pay that price? Are you willing to sacrifice what seems like harmony, and stand your ground and defend the territory Jesus has entrusted to you? Or, will you, like so many today, cower back into the shadows with the other Christ-deniers and sell your soul for the price of a false and faithless “peace”?
I would highly suggest that you add the following verses, in His own words, to your understanding of Jesus:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW’; and ‘A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34–39
If you think I’ve taken these six verses out of context, I would invite you to look at the other surrounding verses, they are as equally “disturbing.”
Clearly, Jesus didn’t come to bring peace in all situations—He often came with a sword. Jesus didn’t always come to bring unity. Often He chose to bring sharp, quick, cutting division that only a sharp sword can achieve.
Shockingly, Jesus tells us that there will be conflict and division even in family relationships. This happens when certain family members unwaveringly stand for Truth and others opt out and choose self-preserving compromise. It’s a sad but true scenario. My question to you is, which side of Truth will you be on, commitment or compromise?
Next, Jesus tells us if we love anyone more than Him, even family members, we are not worthy of Him. What can that possibly mean? Is Jesus anti-family? Absolutely not, but it is a fantastically graphic way of making a serious spiritual point. There is no relationship more important than your relationship with Jesus. There isn’t one earthly relationship or reward worth abandoning His Truth, His Presence or His Will. If you sell Jesus out for convenience, cash or comfort, you’re not merely on a slippery slope, you’ve voluntarily jumped into the pit of satanic self-love.
Additionally, Jesus tells us if we don’t pick up our cross and follow Him, we aren’t worthy of Him. Friend, the cross isn’t merely a piece of jewelry—it’s an instrument of self-death that we are called to carry and crawl upon to in order to crucify our sinful nature with all of its devilish desires.
Cowardice is one of those devilish desires. It’s playing both sides of the fence, twisting words, and changing colors based on who our audience is—that’s cowardice!
Compromising in order to not offend or cause conflict is something you and I have to come to grips with and make a decision to crucify in the Name of Jesus. We need to die to self-love, self-preservation, and cowardice.
If you need more convincing, here’s more no-nonsense Truth:
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
Notice “cowards” is first on the list of those who will burn in the lake of fire. Think about it.
Finally, Jesus says if we try to find, and preserve our lives with self-will, and self-rule we will actually lose our lives. Losing our lives through selfish, cowardice and convenience has a death sentenced attached to it. Think about that the next time you don’t want to create any conflict and possibly lose some earthly treasure by speaking the Truth.
Here’s the good news: if we lose our lives for Jesus, we’ll actually find life! Life isn’t in a pseudo-peace with the world that compromise creates. Life comes from standing in the blast furnace of worldly opposition and saying, “Thus says the Lord”, and not worrying one iota about creating any conflict.
Conflict is inevitable for the follower of Jesus, are you in?