Job 31:21-23 If I have raised my hand against the orphan, because I saw I had supporters at the gate; then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.
Job is describing how our personal behavior can be affected and changed depending upon the audience. It is much easier to take radical action amongst allies and people who share the same beliefs than it is amongst dissenters.
Inciting conflict is not something most of us feel excited about, but Job invites us to reframe conflicts. In turning away from righteous acts, we turn away from facing God’s majesty, mercy, and justice, especially for the marginalized among us. I, for one, am not hard-wired to walk confidently into conflict and maybe you aren’t, either. But God asks us to turn toward righteousness, even at the risk of conflict, because in seeking righteousness, we turn toward something beautiful.
MOVING FORWARD: Think of an example of healthy, life-affirming conflict in your life. How can you use that example to help you seek righteousness today?