Conflict can be said to be good for a community from time to time. It sharpens our minds and ideas. Of course conflict that is physically and destructive is not good conflict for example war, enslavement and human traffic these are bad conflicts which do not ever produce a positive outcomes. On the other hand healthy arguments lead the community to discover more of itself and formulate clear and inspiring visions and missions statements. These will stimulate growth in a community. Communities require healthy conflicts for them to grow and to deepen. Of course sometimes conflict arise within ourselves and we project them to others. Such confict is as a result of us on our part refusing to grow up. It is when egos are strong and sensibility is thrown out. Conflict and tensions arise because we want to control the conversation and the direction of that conversation and not to allow the free flow of ideas. Ideas can threaten us especially if these are taking us away from our comfort zones and then conflict will arise.
Tensions arise because of fear of the future. Not having enough money to pay the bills can cause endless conflict. The tension arises because of the sense of responsbility towards those who we owe money and the commitments that we may have as a community. Such conflict can make us be fearful of the future and lead us to failure to make or take appropriate decisions.
Tension arises within a community because people have not come to terms with themselves. It is quite a struggle to come to terms with oneself. The conflict of the self. Self acceptance is the most difficult thing to do. Hence Holy Scripture teachs us to love our neighbour as we love ourself. We cannot accept the next person as being loveable if we do not have the same view of ourself.
Of course tensions and conflict are not limited to these only. What is important is that conflicts which result in tensions can bring a community together as it struggles within itself to find a solution to the problem. It can be a wonderful time for the community for this increases fellowship and sense that we belong together. Conflict and tensions help us to seek the place of the pain and the cause of that pain and to bring relief.
Conflict helps to come to terms with our spiritual poverty. We move away from blaming others and we take responsibility for our party in the argument. When a community faces the conflict together it means that we have recognized that we need to take responsibility and not to pass the buck. I Peter 2 vs.1-10, says to the Christain community, "Be sure, then, you are never spiteful, or deceitful, or hypocritical, or envious ad critical of each other. You are new born, and like babies you should be hungry for nothing but milk- the spiritual honesty which will help you to grow up to salvation-now that you have tested the goodness of the Lord." If gossip, slander and egos are not checked this my lead the community ceasing to exist and us losing the anionting of the Holy Spirit, which we first received when we where baptised.
Finally conflict and tensions are good bed fellows for these bring us to our knees in prayers as we seek the wisdom and guidance of God as a community. It is an acknowledgment before God that we are helpless. This helps us to overcome the crisis and to move on as a community. A community without God at the centre of it, is bound to fail. A community needs to be continually to be soaked in the life of prayer, day in and day out. For the Holy Spirit will continue to bring light in those areas of the community that need healing and this takes place through the name of Triune God.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ