A thought on humility and conflict

When following some links for ‘missional church’, I came across this post from WELLSPRING
Humility, Grace Among Tools for Resolving Conflicts
By Trisha Taylor

We fight when we lack the emotional maturity to navigate the anxiety that our differences create in us. We may lack the ability to tolerate and appreciate the ways that others differ from us. We may lack the ability to express calmly and firmly what we believe in the face of opposition. We may lack empathy, the capacity to see something from someone else’s point of view. We may lack the maturity to stay lovingly connected to a person with whom we disagree.

She writes in response to an experience where a secular woman asked a group of church leaders “So, why are church people always fighting?” Her entire post is worth reading. I particularly appreciate the quote and her mention of anxiety. In my reading and learning over the last five years, perhaps the greatest impact on my own relationship, leadership, and sense of self has been on this understanding of the role of anxiety, particularly through studying Family Systems Theory. (I’ve done this using Freidman’s “Generation to Generation” and in work with The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and The Pastoral Counseling and Education Center. A key learning here is awareness of one’s own anxiety, what impacts it, and skills to manage it. A goal through all of this is “to be the least anxious person in the room.” Do not try to be non-anxious (likely a human impossibility) but rather work to be less anxious – always a good thing, as well as a biblical thing.

It’s always good to be reminded to listen. Thanks Trisha.

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