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I don't know why this verse popped into my mind this morning. I was trying to think of another passage, and I looked this one up in my Bible before church to see if it was what I was thinking of. It wasn't, but it sparked something else.

A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here. (There is also mushrooming opposition.)
- 1 Corinthians 16:9 (msg)

... for there is a wide-open door for a great work here, and many people are responding. But there are many who oppose me.
- 1 Corinthians 16:9 (nlt)

Paul was sharing with the Corinthian church that he really wanted to come for an extended, productive visit, but that now wasn't the time. On top of that, there was a good thing happening in Ephesus, so he was going to make the most of his stay there. Lots of good things happening, great opportunities, and some opposition. I don't know that my definition of "success" would include "with some opposition", but it seems that this is exactly what Paul is writing. Makes me go, "Hmmmmm..."

Avoiding confrontation probably leaves something important out of the mix. Sticking to the tried and true without running at least a little risk might really be more detrimental than we can know. Making sure everyone is happy becomes the goal, not the by-product, when we focus more on that than the actual task at hand. If there's no one pointing fingers, no one bringing some kind of opposition - then maybe you're not doing it right.

Perhaps the stress of having some opposition has a straigthening effect. More than actual competition, maybe it brings with it a resolve to be right, or even a consideration that maybe that opposing force has something to add to the mix. Whatever the case, if you're not going against the flow even a little, then you're just playing the same game, singing the same song, going the same way you've always gone. More "healthy competition" should work to make us better, make our plans and outcomes more meaningful and secure.


Blogger Todd said...

It boggles the mind how the avoidance rather than the embracing of conflict (healthy or not)is killing the Church. "Lets just sweep this under the rug and hope it goes away."

Good post. Right on.

7/11/05 8:04 AM  

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