Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Confronting our Confrontations
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25 NIV)
Our words will invariably hurt somebody’s feelings and cause pain. Proverbs 18:21 teaches us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our words can be used to share the Good News with others or cause pain.
I think most of us try to avoid confrontations. They are unpleasant and awkward. However, sometimes it is important that we have a serious conversation or a “confrontation” with someone. It may be needed to resolve a lingering issue, to improve the relationship, and to better understand each other. Yes, sometimes we need to prune our relationships if they are not bearing good fruit. So, we must confront our reluctance to have a confrontation. Hopefully, at the end of the
confrontation the two people better understand and appreciate each other than before. When in a confrontation, I try to remember the words of Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
The purpose of the confrontation should not be to tear down the other person or get even. The purpose should be to try to identify common ground and should be done out of love and respect. Remember, one of the Fruits of the Spirit is self control.
Today, many of our confrontations become legal disputes. I understand that sometimes this is unavoidable, but we must realize the Word cautions us, “When you take another believer to court, you have lost the battle already” (1 Corinthians 6:7). The Apostle condemns the Corinthians because their tribunals were heathen, and the spirit of the litigation was void of Christ. The battle is lost because we have missed an opportunity to build up the Church. The Bible presents a better option that brings honor to God and both parties. “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17).
The Bible tells us that unresolved conflict blocks our fellowship with God and keeps our prayers from being answered. This is why Jesus commands us in to restore our broken relationships before we worship (Matthew 5:23-24). Job’s friends reminded him, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do,” (Job 5:2) and, “You are only hurting yourself with your anger,” (Job 18:4). It has often been said that when you forgive someone, the prisoner you set free is yourself.
I was taught years ago that if you were going to have a “come to Jesus meeting” with someone, it was best to begin and end on a positive note and insert your concerns in the middle. This lightens the tension at the beginning and ends the meeting on a positive note. A meaningful confrontation will convey three messages.
- You love and care for that person.
- You will pray for and help that person.
- You believe that person can change.
The Apostle Paul did this in 1 and 2 Corinthians by beginning and ending with affirmation. For example, Paul starts one letter by saying, “I always thank God for you,” and ends with, “My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.” Between that he’s dealing with some very tough truths while also giving affirmation in the middle: “I have great confidence in you, and I have a lot of reasons to be proud of you” (2 Corinthians 7:4). Paul wisely used the word “and” instead of “but.” The former maintains engagement but the later will make the listener defensive and invalidate your previous words of affirmation.
Prayer: Dear God: Please be with us during times of confrontation and help us use these occasions to speak words of truth in love that will bring honor and glory to you. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
Partner With God While Waiting "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1 KJV). Waiting is a daily occurrence: We wait in line at the grocery store, post office or on the phone. Sometimes, we are waiting long-term for news regarding a loved one who has suddenly become ill or was in an accident. Waiting is also a part of joyous occasions such as the birth of a child or marriage. In any case, worrying almost always leads to anxiety. I have five favorite scriptures that I go to while waiting. 1) In Isaiah 40:31, it says:...
How To Turn Bad into Good "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV). I think we all have been the recipient of bad behavior by others. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you or a dear friend was unable to keep a secret. My heart breaks for those that have been incarcerated for decades for a crime and then are finally released when DNA evidence, which was not available at the time of the trial, proves they are innocent. The Biblical story of...
An Attitude of Gratitude “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV). We all know someone with a lousy attitude, maybe that person is you. If your attitude is bad, you probably lack gratitude. If we focus on our past mistakes and sins, we can’t see our present blessings. Sometimes, we are stuck in the past with a legitimate complaint – Why did I not get the promotion? Why did my house burn down? Why did my child die before me? Life is hard and sometimes unfair. Jesus spoke about the certainty of...