How do we deal properly with confrontation? For instance, if we are hurt by another Christian, is it a disservice to deal with it between you and God, forgive and move on? Does it take away their chance of bettering themselves? Is lack of confrontation just causing further destruction in the church?
Dear Tara @Tarieberry ,
Thank you for the question. I think it’s an important one and one that I have struggled with too in my life. I’ve been someone who struggled with conflict and confrontation – I would avoid it as far as I possibly could.
But I learnt in recent years that confrontation and loving conflict is essential to my relationships – especially the close ones. In John 1, Jesus is introduced as ‘the Word’ and in verse 14, John says, “And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us and we beheld His glory. The glory of the one and only Son. Full of GRACE and TRUTH.”
I realised that I am quick to hold onto the ‘grace’ part of Jesus’s character, but not so much the ‘truth’ part. It was in learning, gradually, to develop both these parts of Jesus’ character in my life that I began to embrace confrontation – even though it is often still uncomfortable. What is truly important though, is HOW you engage in the confrontation…
The question I ask myself before engaging in the confrontation is, “What is my goal with this confrontation? Is it to find resolution or victory?” If I look at my marriage, when Suzy and I approach each other lovingly and bring to light an issue or incident that hurt the other without being accusatory, we’ve grown closer together.
So assess your motives prior to engagement in confrontation; assess (as objectively as you can) whether you’re promoting God’s agenda or your own with this action. Forgiveness, love and protection of the relationship should always be the goal. And then engage the individual full of GRACE and TRUTH.
It’s been an incredibly valuable revelation in my life and I know it will be in yours too…
It was exactly on the 10th July , when I learnt about the principles of Truth Trust & Love in relationships from Steven J. Cole. It is is helping me so much in my relationships with others. Because, I have been confronting others wrongly in many many many occasions.
The following principles:
Trust is necessary in relationships. It fosters closeness and togetherness. Where there is no trust, we will never share information or we will never belief information from others we are in a relationship with ;we will never get close.There is that fear for getting hurt or hurting others.
Truth is the basis for Trust in a relationship. Where there is untruthfulness, there is distrust and distance.
Truth must always be expressed in Love. Love seeks the well-being of others.
I quote: " By love, I mean; seeking the highest good of the other person; The highest good for every person is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This motive of love must undergird all verbal expressions of truth (Eph. 4:15).To blast a person may be truthful, but it is not loving. You may say, That’s just the way I feel; and that’s true. But you have not said it to build the other person in Christ, and so it is not loving. On the other hand, to deceive someone under the guise of love is to deny truth. Ultimately, this will undermine the relationship, because it erodes trust.
These principles should help to build healthy relationships, that’s the goal. We do not confront for the sake of confrontation. We want communion and fellowship. Such an orientation puts the responsibility on us first and not so much on them. The Holy Spirit is there to help and guide us . After all, the union/unity of believers is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
I leave you with Ephesians 4:1-4
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
God bless and good luck