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Compassionate Confrontation

Compassionate Confrontation

“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Ephesians 4:15-16, NAS

Movement creates friction. You cannot escape conflict if you deal with people. Whenever you are faced with such encounters, there are four options: 1. I win, you lose; 2. I withdraw; 3. I absorb your anger and work for peace; 4. I care to confront the issue, but with both truth and love.

Jesus used any of these four responses. (1) He clearly needed to “win” when He confronted the hucksters in the temple. (2) He withdrew from Nazareth when they rejected His message. (3) At His arrest He chose to absorb the anger of others without a response of retaliation. (4) To the accusers of the adulteress He charged that those who had never sinned should throw the first stone. With warm care He then told her, “From now on sin no more” (John 8:11).

Perhaps in your family there is a need for improved communication and confrontation in love. “Speaking the truth” is not stoning someone with your words but speaking like Jesus. Good communication involves not only speaking but listening; not only empathy but body language.

Make sure you know the truth and are not just operating from prejudice or preconceived notions. Pick the right time for your presentation. Use kind and gentle words. Listen through the ears of the one to whom you will speak. Pray about the encounter. Remember that sometimes “surgery” is more needed than “therapy” – you may have to cut in order to heal.

QUESTION: Is there someone you need to confront? How would Jesus want you to speak to them? Ask God for the right time, place and spirit for compassionate confrontation..