Conflicting Messages

Conflict is rarely confined to just two people.

Genesis 31:22-55

Reference: Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home. (‭Genesis‬ ‭31‬:‭55‬ NIV)

Explore: The impact of conflict between two people is rarely confined just to those two involved. Conflict spreads like a virus and tends to affect many.

A friend of mine was telling me about a special catch up he does with his cousins every couple of months. I thought it was super cool that they were so close and asked how many cousins he had.

He explained that while he had over 10 cousins, the regular get togethers were only attended by 6 of them. His mother had had a disagreement with one of her siblings, and so, he never saw that family of cousins.

I was saddened that a family unit had broken down and the children were now missing out because of the disagreement of their parents. It’s not the meal that would really benefit the cousins, but the union and connection to their wider family.

Conflict is rarely confined to just two people.

Application: Jacob found himself in conflict with his father-in-law, Laban. When Laban confronted Jacob he explained that his pain was the separation between him and his daughters and grand children.

Thankfully, in Genesis 31, Jacob and Laban were able to talk through their disagreement. With God’s intervention, no greater harm was done. However, great family conflict is rarely resolved without much pain and turmoil.

We are powerless to make decisions for other people. In conflict we can only control our own behaviour and choices. Those choices can impact the other person, but we still can’t make them see our side of things.

If you are in conflict with someone, ask God for divine intervention and be willing to hear what God is saying to you.

Prayer: Lord, conflict is hard. When two parties are hurting it’s challenging to see the other’s point of view. Have Your way of peace and love to bring people back into unity, I pray. Amen.

What conflict is God prompting you to resolve?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.