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Beautiful Conflict

• Greg Boyd

Personal relationships are central to our lives. They have the power to give us beauty and meaning. At the same time, there is also plenty of opportunity for misunderstanding and conflict. Because of the risky nature of relationships, it’s very important that we understand the nature of how we communicate so that we can continue growing into Kingdom ways of relating to one another.

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Personal relationships are central to our lives. They have the power to give us beauty and meaning. At the same time, there is also plenty of opportunity for misunderstanding and conflict. Because of the risky nature of relationships, it’s very important that we understand the nature of how we communicate so that we can continue growing into Kingdom ways of relating to one another.

In Luke 6:41-42, Jesus uses a parable to illustrate a very important truth: our personal issues directly affect our ability to see reality clearly in matters of discernment. The individual ways we see the world are “maps” of how we experience our lives. Our ways of seeing the world do not completely correspond to the “territory” of how things actually are. When different people have very different “maps”, there is always a possibility for conflict. If we are blind to this reality, then we can make many relational mistakes. One mistake like this is the hypocrisy Jesus describes where people try to judge others…even though their perspective is clouded by their own sinful issues. Another may be when people are not open to interpretations and viewpoints other than their own. By raising our awareness, we can avoid these kinds of costly mistakes.

There are 3 helpful principles of Kingdom Communication that can help prevent falling into the trap of confusing the “map” for the “territory.”

  1. Get life only from Christ, not from “maps.”
  2. Speak truth in love, while extending grace to ourselves and to others.
  3. Be willing to embrace messiness, understanding that God is in the mess.
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Topics: Community, Conflict, Relationships

Sermon Series: The Beautiful Mess


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 6:41-42

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, 'Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person's eye.

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