Without Conflict There is No Story

At the Southern Christian Writer’s Conference this weekend, I attended a seminar by Melanie Dickerson on “How to Create Conflict in Fiction.” She was discussing how without conflict there is no story worth reading. We don’t read books or watch movies where only good things happen and everyone is happy. It’s like the movie Pleasantville or Snow Globe; the ideal life gets boring very quickly. The same can be said spiritually.

We complain to God when we encounter troubles and trials or even mere inconveniences, but often those inconveniences lead to some of the most satisfying spiritual growth moments of our journey. Just like in novels, we need conflict in order to grow. In a Hailey Dean movie just last night, the main character, a therapist, is talking about her own issue with a colleague. The colleague suggests she tell a story about her fiancé who was murdered years previously, something she avoids at all costs. Hailey replies that she is uncomfortable with that. Her colleague replied basically that those are the things that will give us the most growth.

In order to grow, we have to step out of our comfort zones and confront something that we are uncomfortable with, such as something God has told us to do or a sin we are not willing to deal with or even a relationship issue. When we follow God’s leading into the uncomfortable, God does His greatest work in us and through us because we are relying on Him instead of ourselves. Like Peter, step out of the boat and onto the water, even in the midst of a rolling sea, and you will find something far better than you ever imagined. Without conflict, there is no story, but with it life can be a great adventure better than any book.

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