‘For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.’ Hebrews 12:11 ESV
Healthy confrontation calls for putting the other person’s well-being above your own interests. So how do you confront someone in the right way? By doing these three things:
(1) Be sure. There must be a good reason to confront. And it should be a rare event, not an everyday one. You shouldn’t relish the experience. If you do, you need to examine your motives. Are you feeling superior? Are you redirecting your anger towards this person over a completely different issue? Are you lifting yourself up by putting them down? Before confronting someone, you must answer these questions truthfully.
(2) Be specific. Vagueness leads to an uncertain outcome, no matter how tactful and gracious your words may be. Make sure you know the reason for the confrontation; then make it clear to the other person.
(3) Be sensitive. Every situation is different, so a season of soul-searching and prayer should precede any face-to-face encounter. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for problems, and the other person will sense uncertainty and uneasiness in your words. Don’t run that risk. If you haven’t taken the time to pray and get counsel beforehand, don’t jump into the situation on your own.
We have all seen this type of Clint Eastwood ‘Go ahead, make my day’ approach. Without fail, it leaves confusion, resentment, and a trail of wounded souls. Make sure your words and tone of voice are attuned to the person you’re dealing with. And try to keep your personal agenda in check; none of this is about you! Pay close attention to timing, choose your words carefully, and, for sure, pray for guidance. Remember, Christ-like confrontation brings the right result every time.
SoulFood: Isa 9:1–7, Luke 2:1–7, Matt 4:12–16
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023