Conflict vs. Harmony

When our hearts are set on obedience, we can be sure of the needed wisdom to tell the difference between a conflict and a harmony. It may be a slow and painful process.


Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity (Revell, 2002), p. 51.

In music the distinction between discord and harmony is quite easy to recognize; but in relationships the difference is not always as clear-cut. No two people are always going to agree on every single point. If they do, then one of them is unnecessary. But when you disagree, there are two ways to deal with it: conflict or harmony. You can battle it out (conflict) and end up with a winner and a loser; or you can work together (harmony) and come out with two winners. The slow and painful process is in learning how to harmonize, for it always involves a degree of compromise, often on both sides. And sometimes it’s hard to know what can and cannot be compromised. But when you are obedient to God’s leading, according to what He has clearly stated in His Word, He gives the wisdom necessary to create harmony in the relationship.

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Elisabeth Elliot’s writing has greatly influenced my life, even as a grown married woman. I truly wish someone had introduced me to her works when I was a teenager, but I am learning that it is never too late to incorporate the principles she teaches: namely, that passion is not sinful and purity is not prudish. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have both.

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