Lots of us studiously avoid conflict,
situations that might contain risk, places where it is all on the line.
Instead, we turn away from great risk, great sacrifice, or great faith.
If we do this, we let those who follow us suffer from group mediocrity rather than lead the way towards making a difference.
It is so much easier to go along with the flow, to avoid the moment of confrontation, to let the next guy handle this challenge.
Heard a great story of a young man who had learned to face it.
He was installed as the pastor of a country church, attended mostly by hard-nosed ranchers and people of the earth. Conflict?...they learned to settle it in personal combat...often with fists. Hard to get someone to pastor that church.
On his first Sunday at the new post, as he was sharing with the church, a man interrupted the service, stood up, and said something like this:
"I just want you to know that when these people voted for you, I wasn't here. I wouldn't have voted for you....and I think we need to go outside right now and settle this."
The new pastor was a tall, angular, red-headed novice, but this day, he faced it.
Gathering himself to full height, he said: "Well, I'd be glad to settle this matter with you outside, whenever you like, but I need to tell you, you are not going to like the outcome."
After a pregnant pause, the rancher said: "Well, welcome pastor. I think we are going to get along just fine."
Do you have something you need to face?
"'Know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give all of you into our hands.'
..and David ran quickly toward the battle line..."
I Samuel 17:45-49.
Facing it...with you.