Malcolm Gill from Sydney Missionary and Bible College is in studio once again to encourage us in our Christian faith.
What are we talking about today?
We’re going to talk about conflict in relationships today.
That sounds a bit troublesome. And it’s something that happens to all of us.
It does. And I’m going to begin with a couple of questions not to create a conflict, but, Sam, let me ask you a few questions, just give me your gut instinct. AFL versus NRL?
Summer at the beach or winter at the ski fields?
Summer at the beach.
Classical music or contemporary music?
Contemporary for sure.
Okay. Well I think we’re in agreement actually for this, but in life, we don’t always see eye to eye, not just you and me but other people because we’re different. We all have different preference, and we all have different personalities. And sometimes that’s very good when we bring out best in each other, but sometimes that also can lead to conflict. We rub each other the wrong way.
A bit of friction. And we’re all different, and that’s one of the joys of being created the way we are but also it can mean that there’s conflict.
All right, so you’re talking about this today. Have you got some tips on how to deal with conflict?
There are differences in the way that we respond to each other, to different personalities, but I’m reminded of a couple of different things. In the Bible, you often have conflict actually. So it’s not that the Bible shies away from that, presenting a perfect Utopian society. The Bible actually presents a lot of people who have conflict with each other. David has conflict with his sons. We find that Paul, even in ministry, has conflict with some of his mates.
But there’s one verse that stood out to me in Philippians Chapter 4, its two ladies. We don’t even know much about them, but Paul writes “I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.” I don’t know what the disagreement is. I don’t even know Euodia and Syntyche. But I do know that there was obviously some sort of disagreement there.
And while there are disagreements and disputes over gray areas in life, Paul clearly wants these people to agree. Not necessarily in the content but he wants them to be of the same mind. He wants them to be committed to loving each other. And I think that’s one of the challenges when we often have disagreements, sometimes over fairly innocuous things. The temptation can be to let that grow into bitterness and never to resolve that.
Now, there might be some issues that never get resolved in life. But I think the principle that you find in this scripture is that even in differences, there should be a mutual love and a mutual respect for each other. So even other parts of the Bible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Consider others better than yourselves, not consider others better than yourselves if they all go for the same NRL team or if they support country music versus contemporary music or whatever. But I think that’s really key and important.
All right, you’ve encouraged me to persevere and I guess love. That’s the other big thing, isn’t it?
Love covers a multitude of sins.
Each Sunday, FRESH presenter Sam Robinson chats with Malcolm Gill, lecturer at Sydney Missionary and Bible College (SMBC), about different aspects of living the Christian life—or ‘running the race’. Hear them on air Sundays at 6.20am and 9.20am or on FRESH just after 9pm each Saturday.