Conflict is an Opportunity for Growth

“We start with the premise that conflict is normal and natural, wherever people are working and living together. It often happens that our behavior or response to conflict may cause us to regard it as a negative experience, perhaps even dangerous. But conflict itself is simply a condition in which peoples’ needs, wishes, and perceptions appear to be in opposition. Conflict can be an opportunity for growth, change, and improvement. However, our behavior during conflict is key. And our behavior is based on deeply ingrained experiences, drawn from cultural teachings and fears. Our responses may be more automatic than we realize. We may proceed down one path of behavior, unaware that we might have other choices.”

— Sara Keeney, 2020
“Quakers and Conflict”, Western Friend

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What assumptions or patterns did you grow up with regarding conflict? If your habitual response to conflict is not serving you, make a plan for how you will approach things the next time conflict arises.

When conflict arises in your community, how do you respond?

If God is in every person, how does that inform your approach to conflict? When have you had a conflict that resulted in deeper trust and connection?