Welcome back friends! Today’s post is not a feel good post by any means...but please keep reading! I had a very sweet friend ask me to pray about writing on confrontation. I think I looked at her like she had four eyes! Confrontation? No one likes to hear that word, much less read about it! But because I love and respect this friend, I did what she asked, I prayed about it and do you know what happened next? I had a week full of confrontation! Isn’t that exactly how things tend to work?
Confrontation is such a dreaded word, but it is Biblical and we as women need to know how to handle it in a godly way. Thankfully, the Lord has given us a guideline in His Word and has called us to hold each other accountable in love. In Matthew 18:15-17, scripture lays it out pretty clearly, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”
I have experienced confrontation on each level in which Matthew speaks. We recently bought a house next to some neighbors that have some amazing animals! My kids love seeing their horses, ducks and many other animals while they are out playing. It was all fun and games until we were gone one weekend and came home to their ducks in our pool! Oh my...the “mess” that they made in the pool and on the concrete was awful! I took a deep breath, knowing I would have to address this situation immediately. I then saw our neighbor outside, so I asked for him to come over. I asked him to look in the pool and see what his ducks had done while we were out of town. He was very apologetic and assured me that he would have the problem fixed. It was a simple confrontation with a happy ending! I chose to confront them with love and a concern for my family and not out of anger. There is no doubt the outcome could have been different if I would have allowed my emotions and flesh to take over! We also see examples from scripture, one being how Nathan confronted David in 2 Samuel 12.
In other situations, I have had to bring others along with me. Whether it has been confronting about living in sin or in the case of possible divorce, those conversations are not easy, but we are called to have them. Not all of the confrontations have ended the way I would have hoped, but it’s not up to me to fix them, it’s my responsibility to be obedient to what the Lord is calling me to do.
One of the hardest I have ever seen is when it was brought before the church. Someone had an affair and at the request of the one that was caught up in sin, they stood before the church to ask for forgiveness. Confrontation at this level has taught me so much about restoration (that’s another post you can be looking for). Our ultimate goal is to see the person restored in their relationship with Christ or come to a relationship with Christ if they don’t have one. It’s so easy to get angry and walk away, but ladies, we have a much higher calling than to run!
The most important thing that we need to always be mindful of is that we are on the same team! God created each of us for one purpose and that is to be His representatives and grow His Kingdom here on earth. Personally, I have to deal with confrontation immediately! It’s almost as if I can’t function correctly until I address the issue head on. I am so thankful that I have friends in my life that confront me when I am walking in disobedience. How blessed to have people in our lives that love and care for us so much that they want us to be in right standing with the Lord!
When we see sin in someone’s life, our approach is so very important! Galatians 6:1-2 tells us, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Oh I love that word, gentleness! If we are a believer in Jesus, He has put the spirit of gentleness inside of us, and we are to use that fruit of the spirit when confronting people and situations. We should want others to succeed, we should want others to be restored to a loving relationship with our Savior!
When I am faced with confrontation, here are a few things that I like to do:
1. Pray - Prayer calms me when I am about to let my flesh take over! I pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart towards the person I am having to confront. I ask Him to help me speak in love and that what I have to say will be received in love. Ephesians 6:19
2. Role Play - I try to put myself in the other persons position. If I were them, how would I have handled this differently? By doing this, I can sometimes see the reasoning behind a decision and it helps me understand how to approach the situation. 1 Peter 3:8
3. Loving Approach - The last thing I would want someone to do to me is be defensive. The approach sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. When others see that I truly care and want to make things right, the confrontation will be much more successful. I also always try to point them to scripture and let the Lord do the talking for me. Luke 6:31
Are you at a place where you know you need to have those hard conversations? Pray that the Lord will soften your heart to the person you are needing to confront. Pray that He will use you to speak love, to show love, all while pointing them to Jesus and His Word. Confrontation is one of the hardest things we can do as Christians, but it’s one of the most needed things we can offer.
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!