Conflict is Hard to Get Right
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Micah 4:3
As a Christian addict, living in recovery, I spend a lot of time thinking about right and wrong. Of course, I’m egocentric enough to think that I’m always right. The problem is that no one person is right about everything. Sometimes, even I’m wrong.
Because we retain an imperfect human nature, we all make mistakes. Not one of us gets everything right about God, the Bible, or the world. This, unfortunately, often leads us to bitter conflict with each other.
If anyone ever suggests that Christians have lost their sin nature, I simply want to point to the church. It’s within the church that many of us will find the most difficult conflicts of our daily lives. We may be forgiven, but we are still broken, and as long as we retain our human nature, we will live in some conflict with each other.
Micah, in today’s passage, looks forward to a future, miraculous day, when all conflict will cease. The only way this can possibly occur, he says, is when everyone follows God, instead of themselves. In that day, our destructive human nature will be done away with as everyone follows God together.
That day is not yet here though, and I still disagree with others on important things. This is one of the hardest things for me: To disagree with someone and to live rightly. I’ve often said that my drug use is not the greatest failure of my life. My greatest failure is my egocentrism. I do what I want. I’m always right. If you disagree, I’m justified in demonizing you. I can be right and still act horribly.
What I believe about addiction, God, faith, and recovery is profoundly important to me. If I want to live rightly though, I must remain humble enough to admit that I don’t get everything right. When I disagree with another, I must make sure that in my disagreement, I continue to point my life at God.
As Micah points out, I won’t be perfect in this life. In daily abandoning myself and following God though, I can do better. I don’t have to act wrong because I think I’m right.