Conflict is defined as “a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.” Synonyms for the word include struggle, battle, war, argument, controversy, or encounter. There are various types of conflict. This can range from conflict between individuals or even time scheduling. However, today I want to discuss “inner conflict.”
We all hold different levels of morals and values within, gauging what is acceptable and unacceptable internally. Sometimes ideas, decisions, or situations occur that may seem acceptable in society; however, inside you have questions about it. When you know that the issue is deemed unacceptable, and there is an internal war going on, you’re left feeling unsettled.
This internal conflict can cause you to come to a standstill on decisions, or leave you giving less than your best. As I sat down to write this post, I actually wrote two different versions that had nothing to do with this particular conflict I’m writing about. I was unsatisfied with either of these versions as they were a bit lukewarm because of situations I am dealing with. "‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust]” (Revelations 3:15-16). I always use my husband as my sounding board. While I did not share with him how I felt about the final versions, I did not have to because he held a similar sentiment.
This was a small example of inner conflict. Some conflicts create major issues in the bigger picture. My writing has been the source of much inner conflict. My fiction writing started out as a bit of urban fiction mixed with women’s fiction. I loved what I wrote and the reaction I received from my audience. However, as time wore on, I began to experience conflict about some of my racier pieces. My writing deals with real-life issues that people face daily. My characters are true-to-life, some Christians, others not. Those who are not are like average people, saying and doing things that are inappropriate at times. These characters live the only way they know how, because they have not received salvation.
At times, I have struggled with composing these pieces because of my Christianity. Yet, Christians and non-Christians alike enjoy my works. After careful consideration of what message I wanted to convey to my readers, I prayed over the matter. Receiving His guidance, I finally began incorporating inspiration and spirituality into my works. It allows me to lead those who are in the world to Christ. They can relate to my characters’ ordeals, and eventually receive a message of healing and deliverance. Above all, I pray they learn to have faith in our Heavenly Father and belief in themselves.
The inner battle we fight when experiencing conflict is spiritual. Our flesh and spirit are at war with one another, causing conflict in our soul, and decision-making becomes difficult. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:17).
Inner turmoil can become costly if we are not aware of the battle we are fighting. Following the ways of the world, or allowing our choices to not be based on sound decisions can create trouble for our souls. We can destroy our reputation, create disturbances in our relationships, place ourselves in danger, or worse. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
We must be prepared to fight those battles so that we don’t lose our very soul. Sometimes I wonder how many of us really understand the battle we’re in. “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).
You can receive peace despite the conflict that is brewing. Turn your issue over to the Lord in prayer. He will give you guidance in your decisions and grant you peace, enabling you to rise above your limitations. "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Despite what the world says is acceptable or unacceptable, in the end, the greatest message is to remain true to yourself. Then you will have victory over inner conflict.
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