9 times out of 10 it’s no fun. In fact, when talking about family, friends, team, church or work, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “Hey everybody, I love tension!”

And yet, it happens… a lot!

So today I’d like to suggest that tension can actually be an opportunity.

Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas write that “Tension is actually the platform that gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that this is a safe place.”

When they say “safe place” they’re talking about an environment where relationships of mutual respect and trust can be built.

If you start to act irrational, blurt out crazy talk, or blow up every time things get a little tense, people will learn that you can’t handle tension, and that it’s not a safe place to be honest, share a different opinion, or disagree.

In Romans 12:18 (ESV) Paul writes this: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” When he talks about living “peaceably” he doesn’t mean we should never disagree and sweep problems under the rug. I think he means we should trust God so much, and be so confident in who we are in Christ’s love, that we are not easily frightened by different opinions, strong feelings, or uncertain territory.

When a bit of healthy tension comes up, you don’t need to explode or run for the hills. It may be an opportunity to expand the steadfastness of your soul. The result might just be relationships that have more mutual respect and trust.

By Matthew Ruttan

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