Most conflicts provide an opportunity to grow to be more like Jesus. God’s highest purpose for you is not to make you comfortable, wealthy, or happy. He plans to conform you to the likeness of His Son! Conflict is one of the many tools that God will use to help you develop a more Christ-like character. To begin with, he may use conflict to remind you of your weaknesses and to encourage to depend more on him. The more you rely on his grace, wisdom, and power, the more you will be imitating the Lord Jesus.
God may use conflict to expose sinful attitudes and habits in your life. Conflict is especially effective in breaking down appearances and revealing stubborn pride, a bitter, and unforgiving heart, or a critical tongue. When you are squeezed through controversy and these sinful characteristics are brought to the surface, you will have an opportunity to recognize their existence and ask for God’s help in overcoming them.
There is more to being like Jesus than simply recognizing weaknesses and confessing sin, however to grow, you must also draw on his grace and practice new attitudes and habits. Just as athletes develop their muscles and skills through strenuous training, you will see greater growth when you repeatedly think and behave properly in response to challenging circumstances. For example, when people provoke and frustrate you, practice love and forgiveness. When they fail to act promptly, develop patience. When you are tempted to give up on someone, exercise faithfulness. Conflict provides a rich mixture of such trials, each of which can strengthen and refine your character.
God uses conflict to stretch and challenge you in carefully tailored ways. This process is sometimes referred to as the “ABC of spiritual growth”: Adversity Builds Character. As you worry less about going through conflict and focus more on growing through conflict, you will enhance that process and experience the incomparable blessing of being conformed to the likeness of Christ.
Source: Sande, Ken: The Peacemaker: A Biblical guide to resolving personal conflict (Grand Rapids, Michigan USA, Baker publishing group), 36-37