I have just finished reading the latest edition of the Missio Nexus Anthology, an issue solely devoted to talking about conflict in the Christian community. It includes a few articles particularly focused on resolving cross-cultural conflict, and a couple of articles about dealing with differences between mission agencies. But the idea that most struck me was that conflict is important, even necessary for our development in our Christian life.
Ted Esler, in his closing article in the Anthology, talks about “Loving Conflict.” Conflict, he says, deepens relationships, is necessary for good decisions and shapes our character. He concludes,
Do you want to have strong relationships, good decisions, and a deeper character? Then learn to embrace and love conflict.