This is what we all seek: the most generic form of harmony, which for ease of understanding we’ll call “love,” to ensure our passage through life is as meaningful and dignified as possible. There is, however, a nemesis: conflict. Such dissonance comes in many forms, in numerous ways, and at varying times. The presence of conflict impacts on our trust; but love rebuilds broken trust.
Let us first be clear as to the scope of such love. It means peace, joy, understanding, empathy, patience, compassion, thanksgiving, faithfulness, humility... in sum, virtue or, the Fruit of the Spirit. The best of life is lived for love.
And since we have declared, upfront, what love is to mean, we should be so forthright regarding conflict. This means unreasonable fear, envy, relational conflict, mistrust, harshness, ignorance, arrogance, pride, and anything that causes harm or has harmful potential; any conflict from within or without.
Love – The Universal Need
Everyone needs love. It is the universal human need. Though many have had to learn to live without it—by their circumstances, upbringing, or experience—they have long given up hope of living without conflict, so much has conflict defined their lives. Conflict has hardened them; it’s seared their consciences. This is one reason we need never give up speaking in forms of love by our action toward everyone, especially to those haters who have not had personal and transforming knowledge or experience of love, yet.
This “love” that we speak in forms of love by our action is the gospel message. Everyone needs to hear it through our actions; via our patience, understanding, empathy, humility, and compassion, etc; especially through our handling of bitterness, deceit, grief, betrayal, disappointment, frustration, anxiousness, etc.
Love harmonises hurt.
And we, ourselves, need it. No matter what our lives have been, are currently, or look to become, we need either a sufficient absence of conflict or tools to manage the conflict within our minds and within our worlds that threaten love. The more we accept that conflict will be part of our world, the more we are impelled to develop those tools that assist us to draw on a holy God who gives abundant love, and such safety of mind and heart, sumptuously.
Love – It Starts At Home
By “home,” it’s meant that love must start from us, personally, as we love ourselves by drawing on God’s fundamental love for us, in order to experience the inner happiness of joy. Then within our homes we practice love. We find ways of accentuating love and diminishing the presence of conflict, whilst somehow also welcoming it. Conflict will always be part of our world—it should be allowed to exist at tension, and harmoniously, with love. We should not fear the presence of conflict.
When love finds its home in us, love begins to ripple out into our world. Not every barrier will be overcome, but many still will be.
We must never give up on the hope that love can characterise our lives more than conflict. Working hard to establish love is life’s greatest conquest and accomplishment.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.