Christian Life, Church Life

Smells Like a Teen Spirit

[Ever notice in the Nirvana video that the cheerleaders emblems is the anarchy symbol?]

Recently I spoke with someone whose is in a house church group that is currently in the midst of a crisis.  [There are actually various groups going through different types of crisis, so this post won’t reveal anything confidential or identify any particular person.  Also, I have been a participant in house church groups during various crises, and have started to notice similarities.]

Something this person said got my attention.  It was recounted that some of the people refused to be willing to even consider changing their views.  When this person told me this, my internal alarms started going off.  To me, when I hear that someone wants to just give their viewpoint and doesn’t want to abide any counter-viewpoints, it smells like the enemy to me.  One of the enemy’s hallmarks is pride, and a recalcitrant stance such as I’ve seen many times (and what this person spoke to me) is in line with pride.

I’ll give an example to help clarify: years ago, there was an “intervention” that was required such that all the brothers of the group had to be together to deal with something.  Of that group, most held a particular viewpoint, we’ll call it viewpoint A.  A minority of brothers held viewpoint B.  However, the manner in which the minority handled their viewpoint was vastly different.  One brother who held viewpoint B was stern and cocky and refused to accept a different viewpoint as possibly valid.  The other brother who held viewpoint B was polite, humble, and courteous and was willing to set aside his viewpoint for the benefit of a certain member of the group.  Although both brothers essentially believed the same thing, their approaches/attitudes were night and day.  One smelled like Jesus and one smelled like the enemy.  [Sidebar: the stern brother is no longer walking with the Lord.]

My counsel to anyone in a group dealing with conflict is to not only focus on what is being said but also how it is being said and the humble vs. prideful attitude that the speaker conveys.

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