His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither…” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9:2-3
God uses conflict to stretch and challenge you in carefully tailored ways. This process is sometimes referred to as the “ABC of spiritual growth”: Adversity Builds Character.
As you worry less about going through conflict and focus more on growing through conflict, you will enhance that process and experience the incomparable blessing of being conformed to the likeness of Christ.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 37
Food for Thought
What is your first response to conflict or adversity?
You can’t be too hard on the disciples when they asked Jesus the question in the verse above; they were trying. They saw adversity–in all of it’s forms (including conflict)–as an indication of sin.
To think that adversity could have indicated the presence of faith, rather than its absence, was simply unbelievable. But Jesus’ answer challenged everything they thought they knew about godliness. The man’s blindness–his adversity–had a purpose.
It was about being able to speak as much as it was being able to see.
We haven’t progressed much beyond the disciples. We often still view adversities as a red flag that something is wrong. But the scriptural reality is that sometimes everything may be right–the right kind of circumstances, the right kind of people involved, or the right kind of pain to teach us the language of faith. We shouldn’t go looking for trouble, mind you–each day has enough trouble of its own, say Jesus. However, when trouble comes (and it will), how will we handle it?
The ABC’s of Spiritual Growth remind us that God is intensely interested in our character, our holiness. He’s so interested that He will allow pain or adversity into our lives if it will help us to grow to become more like Him.
The ABC’s are what children learn by–how they grow in terms of speaking and listening. Those letters are combined to form words, sentences, thoughts, and questions. The adversities and conflicts we go through function in much the same way. They help us form the words and sentences of an authentic faith, so that we can then speak as a witness–someone who knows and sees.
“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” ~ John 9:25
How do we lives our lives?
What place does adversity have in your life?
Do you think you need adversity?
When trouble comes how DO you handle it?
I have much trouble in my life right now, things I have no control over, I am having to give myself up over and over to God, resigning to the fact that God is giving me this to refine me, to let go of the struggle and the control, He will handle it. No matter what the outcome. I know this is happened to display His Work in me, for others to see.
Am I strong enough to handle it day to day? No, but He is. And oh how I thank Him for that!
One thing I know, I was blind and now I see. how amazing is His grace!