Godly Confrontation [Devotional]

godly confrontation

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you (2 Corinthians 2:4 NKJV).

By nature, I'm non-confrontational. I've even been known to say that nothing is wrong when someone asks if something's wrong.

I suppose this is preferable to being like people who go out of their way to tell people what’s wrong with them. But it’s important to note that there are times when confronting someone is the most loving thing you can do.

Godly confrontation is different from the confrontation that happens in the flesh in the following ways. First of all, if you find it necessary to bring a word of warning or rebuke, you should do so with a spirit of love and humility. It shouldn't be fun, or bring you a perverse sense of pleasure, but instead must be filled with love, compassion, and perhaps even tears.

I recall a time many years ago when a pastor of the church I was a member of came before the church to publicly address the sin of a missionary sent out by the church. It isn’t important for me to share about the specific sin, except to say that it was serious, and the missionary refused to turn from the sin. As such, it became a matter of church discipline.

The thing that struck me the most was that my pastor wept as he shared about the situation. I’m not talking about being a little teary-eyed; the sorrow and tears poured out of him. The sin, and the missionary’s refusal to repent, broke his heart. My guess is that the tears I witnessed were a small sampling of the tears he shed in private, and no doubt with the missionary as well.
people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That is certainly true when it comes to confrontation. When you've demonstrated true caring with someone on a regular basis, they'll be much more likely to hear your words of rebuke, should the need arise.

Finally, examine your own heart. I don't mean to imply that you have to be perfect to confront someone else. If that were the case, none of us would be qualified! But it's important to examine your own heart, and come to a place of repentance and purity before confronting others.

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Praying the Word

Lord, I pray that You’ll give me a heart of love and compassion for others, Help me to know when confrontation is the most loving course of action, and then give me the wisdom to know how and when to confront. I pray that You’ll also give me a heart that responds well to rebuke from others.

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Applying the Word

Is there someone you need to confront? If so, spend time praying about it. Ask God to show you how and when to confront. If someone has wronged you, first own up to your part in the situation, and ask forgiveness. Sometimes that is all you'll need to do to bring the other person to a place of repentance! Once you've dealt with your sin, move forward with confrontation as needed.

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