September 15, 2010

Confrontation Not Gossip

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 15, 2010

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Matthew 18:15

It is easier to talk about someone than it is to talk with them. I struggle with this because I don’t like confrontation, however, if I really care for a person I will take the time to discuss with them their indiscretion. The temptation is to “confide” in another of the need to “pray” for a friend, without first being direct with them in a loving conversation. “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

Love seeks to sit down and sort through misunderstandings and discuss the dangers of remaining on a path of destruction. Perhaps your friend is neglecting his or her family or harming their family’s health. Your role is to provide a safe environment for them to see the error of their ways. Hard discussions may not immediately bear fruit, but it plants good seed.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

There is always the risk of becoming like the one we are confronting. For example, if you challenge an angry man—be forgiving—less you become angry. If you face a lustful woman—be pure—less you become lustful. If you expose a lie—be honest—less you become a liar. If you stand up to a proud person—be humble—less you become proud.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

Confrontation without grace prolongs graceless living, but confrontation with grace attracts Spirit-filled living. Sin squirms in its dark state when exposed by the light of a loving conversation. Be direct with a humble heart and you cannot be accused of harshness. Take the time to prayerfully help someone see their sin, then trust Jesus.

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20).

Make sure God’s word is the foundation of your concerns, because it carries the weight of Christ’s authority. Don’t be a self-righteous Bible thumper, but a meek Bible believer. Our opinions may or may not be helpful, but the whole counsel of God’s word resonates within a soul seduced by sin. So, speak the truth in love and watch the Holy Spirit work.

“Speaking the truth in love… each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Ephesians 4:15a, 25).

Who do I need to talk to with a humble heart, instead of proudly talking about them?

Related Readings: Proverbs 26:20; Zechariah 8:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 3 John 1:10

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God

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