“Go ahead and prepare for the conflict, but victory comes from God.” Proverbs 21:31

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

There are those who think that life should be without conflicts, but behind every great man or woman there are war stories. These experiences have taught them principles that make them wise. They have learned that the victory comes from God. God made us in His own image, with the power to create. This starts through ideas . . . one idea will stimulate another, and then another, which leaves us with many opinions. For this reason, we don’t always agree with each other, because if we grow it will come from an idea that will form opinions in us. So a major part of our life is spent learning how to act and react (conflict) toward each other, because of our personal opinions. As we deal with these conflicts and testing, we should become better people, for through them we discover our strengths and weaknesses. It is very important to recognize that the victory comes from God, for it is through the creative gift of reasoning and choice that God gives us victory. Through this gift we grow and overcome situations (conflicts). A few questions we need to ask ourselves are:

1. Has victory over the conflict made us better people or are we angry at life?

2. Has it kept us humble and thankful to God or are we critical?

3. Has it improved our character and taught us a lesson or has it made us haughty and arrogant?

It is not wrong to have conflicts. In fact, we can’t grow or make progress without them, because most new ideas are initially rejected as they conflict with our old habits. Change is not always easy. Some of us never will. That’s why we must allow time for an idea to mature, or a conflict will turn into a war and separate us from important associates. Conflicts are the battles we fight in our mind; war is when it turns into hand-to-hand combat in the flesh. But it’s O.K. to prepare for the conflict or war, for without preparation we cannot win. Once a father took his son to a boxing match. The son noticed that one of the boxers knelt down and prayed in his corner. The son asked the father, "Will that help him?" "Only if he is prepared to fight" replied the father. Likewise, we must believe that the victory comes from God, but we must prepare ourselves as though it will not.

We must also be careful when we win, because it is easy to become proud and boastful. And if we do, we will soon be humbled. The reason God humbles us is to teach us something, because He knows we learn more from losing than we do from winning. When we lose, we question God and ourselves as to why we lost. What we learn from this will cause us to grow in understanding so we can improve and win. We should always remember that the victory is God’s, or we will have to go through the test over and over again. God wants us to grow up and understand. When we are in a battle, it is easy to ask God to help us, and we are ready to make all kinds of deals and promises to Him. We must not forget them when victory comes.

So we should never be afraid of conflicts, knowing that there is a lesson to be learned which will help us in life and make us trust in God. Conflicts will come, but we must trust in God for solutions. This will build true godly character - then we can tell our own war stories!

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
Conflict is so important to me that if there is none, then I create one..