How we respond to suffering sets the bounds on our personal growth, including our emotional health and maturity. Our response to suffering is not just a one-time act of the will. It’s a whole set of habits that are reinforced over time as we encounter small difficulties, either preparing us or leaving us empty-handed when a bigger trial comes our way.
Sometimes leaders can no longer honestly say, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair . . . struck down, but not destroyed.” Instead, they do feel crushed and near to despair. How do we recognize when it’s time to take a break, and what kind of change do we need?
We Christians bring our own uniquely creative dysfunctions to the world of disagreement and conflict, don’t we? Like with bad movies, the best way to make bad conflict even worse is to add religion to the mix… I can think of at least three modes of conflict resolution that are bad in a distinctively Christian way.