I don’t like conflict. I avoid it. I do everything in my power to block it from my mind. Sometimes I’ll stay in a hurtful business relationship simply because I don’t want to have the conversation. It happens with partners, employees, contractors, vendors and clients.
I guess I just want the problem to disappear on its own. I want the relationship to fizzle out and make itself disappear. The problem with this strategy is that it takes time and leaves too many lose ends untied. Worst case is that the relationship doesn’t fizzle and next thing I know it’s 1 year later and I’m still involved.
I believe relationships are a temporary assignment by God to help two people achieve a purpose in a season of both people’s lives. How temporary? It could be seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, even decades. It’s not up to us. We just need to recognize that it’s temporary.
(PS I’m not talking about your marriage, that’s something God brought together and you need to work through it until death do you part. Some of you readers were getting really excited where I was going with this, I could tell.)
We want relationships to work, and I think we all have a tendency to avoid conflict and stay together because it’s our instinct (survival by numbers) and it’s God’s intention for us to be in community and communication with others so we can grow.
In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas got into a dispute about where to go next with the gospel, their mission in growing the church. There’s no detail on how the dispute went down, but in the end, they went separate ways to accomplish whatever their spirit was insisting they do.
They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Acts 15:39-41 NIV
God had them both together for a season. They needed each other. But now God was ready for them to go their separate ways…to accomplish more separately than they could together.
Maybe you’re in a relationship that it’s time to recognize that the season was great together, but now it’s time to go and accomplish your hearts missions on your own. This is an easy conversation to have when you speak from a perspective of “what does God want us to do?” It’s a matter of two people reflecting on their goals, visions, and missions that God has for them and recognizing that the two might not align anymore and it’s time to move on.
Imagine the strife we could all avoid if everyone was focused on the mission God has set out for each of us individually. We would recognize seasons endings much faster so we could all accomplish God’s purposes sooner.
Godpreneur Rule #84: Godpreneurs recognize that relationships are seasonal and gracefully communicate that when wanting to part ways.