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In Dr. Sam Chand’s Gatekeepers column of the March/April 2012 issue, we learned about the reality of conflict in community.
Dr. Chand wrote an excellent piece that compliments this issue of conflict in community. Read it below and let us know your thoughts!
“You Can’t Please Everybody”
Dr. Samuel ChandWe’ve all heard the old adage: “You can’t please everybody.” What I wish someone had told me was, “Sam, there will be blood on the floor. It may be yours, or it may be theirs, but to get where you’re going, you may have to pay for it in blood.” Of course, even if I had heard it, I probably wasn’t in a place to understand it until I had been through it. But now I’ve learned; there is a price to be paid.
Discipline is just one example of necessary conflict. No one is going to send a thank-you card saying, “I know I was wrong, Pastor, and you love me so much you’re setting me down for my own good. I know I’m going to grow through this experience. Thank you for loving me so much.” No, instead there is going to be blood on the floor.
Like parents, leaders often have to discipline those who don’t appreciate our actions. We try to do it in ways that prevent blood from spilling on the floor. We try to make it all neat and tidy. However, a rocket ship can’t get off the ground without a lot of heat and the sights, sounds, and fury that go along with it. Please understand, we can minimize the blood, but the blood will still be there.
Of course, I am not talking about literal blood on the floor; I am talking about the painful feelings aroused when we try to resolve conflict. I am also talking about the sacrifices made in the process. When my father disciplined me, he never drew real blood. But the shame of my actions often made me feel as if my blood had been spilled.
Some people like me; some people don’t. We are all born with a need to be liked and approved; but sometimes in an effort to be accepted, we avoid conflict that is necessary. That’s not good. While I am not suggesting that we be conflict-lovers, we do need to find a way to come to terms with conflict.
We need to be able to say, “I can’t please everybody, and conflict is going to happen. It doesn’t matter who I am or where I am at, sometimes there is just going to be blood on the floor.”