Fair fighting

Re:Verse reading–Acts 15:1-29 (day one)  

“If you cannot go back to your mother’s womb, you better learn to be a good fighter.”–Anchee Min.

“I have fought the good fight”–the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:7)

It happened in the early church.  It will happen (has) in our church.  We will come to a point/place of disagreement. About truth.  About direction.  We will need to fight.

We will need to fight fairly.  Work hard to address issues and truth rather than personalities and feelings.  The same skills we use in marriage.

Acts 15 will serve as an example.  We will engage in honest and courageous debate–v 2.  We will seek wisdom from the apostles–v 3 (our application will be to “search the scripture”).  We will give testimony–v 7-12.  We will submit to our leaders–v 13-22.

I don’t know which is harder to teach.  The courage to fight for truth or the kindness to do it fairly.  For Christ-followers, neither is optional.


Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

One thought on “Fair fighting”

  1. Every time there is a change, surely there will be conflict. Where there are people, there are conflict. Conflict is a normal part of any social and organizational setting. Without conflict, organizations can not grow. Without conflict, people can not improve and learn. Conflict will find us whether we look for it or not. Embrace it and tackle early on.

    Conflict is the sign of a healthy organization, an organization where people who work in it care for everyone’s success and for the organization success. What are the underlying issues that need to address and to resolve? Is it about leadership, about a new policy, a new system, a new procedure, a new process, a conflicting goal, unfair personnel practices, a new leadership and management agenda? Is it about management style, values and philosophy? Or is it about people’s ego or personalities? If we find it important enough to have a conflict, we should find it important enough to clearly identify, define and resolve it as soon as possible.

    If leaving unresolved, conflict can become destructive and it will be a downfall for the organization in terms of productivity and interrelationships among personnel and stakeholders.

    Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. Leaders should encourage disagreement and act on disagreement if they want to improve their own organizations and to create a workplace harmony for all concerned. The challenge of conflict lies in how one chooses to deal with it. Organizations, including churches, cannot escape from organizational conflict as it is a natural tendency of working together. Differences in communication style and opinions or ideas are enough to cause conflict. Differences in leadership and management style are enough to bring conflict. Differences in strategic directions can cause anxiety and uncertainties!

    I was a Mediator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) between 1993-1996. I can say that the ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict as soon as possible before it escalates will serve the organization and the conflicting parties well in both the short-term and the long-term. Focus on the issues that cause the conflict, not on personality, not on the person. Don’t let the emotions control and drive decisions! Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!! Don’t blame on yourself! Don’t blame on anyone!

    I can imagine FBCSA is going through a process of change. Change is unavoidable if there is a change in leadership and in financial aspects of the organization. Change should be embraced as without change when all dependent factors have changed, the organization will become self-destructive and become irrelevant!! If speaking truth is hard as Christians due to worries of hurting others’ feelings, one of the best things we can do is offer honest feedback. I find it easy for me to offer honest and constructive feedback. Great leaders always welcome and appreciate to receive it.

    How do you handle personal and professional conflicts? Do you know the underlying source of your conflicts? Do you embrace it and find a solution and resolution? Do you communicate the issues with openness and grace and are open to bring a mutual agreement to resolve the issue(s)? Who will you reach out when you need help with the conflict?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *