February 27, 2024

When Someone Confronts You

Written by Shana Schutte

Don’t allow pride to rule during difficult conversations or confrontation.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 27, 2024

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

A while back, a friend phoned and told me I had hurt her. I had no idea how she felt prior to our conversation. Although it was difficult to receive her words because no one likes to be told they have blown it, I was glad our conversation went well. And, as it is with many disagreements, we discovered it was a misunderstanding. This got me thinking about the right—and wrong—ways to handle conflict when you’re the one who is receiving correction or criticism. I hope these thoughts are helpful to you. 

First, keep your emotions in check. It’s normal to feel defensive, especially if you feel relationally insecure, you’re afraid of being wrong, or if you feel that the other person has also wronged you. Don’t allow any negative or ungodly emotions to ruin the opportunity to make peace and glorify God through the conflict. Even if the other person becomes emotional or loud, keep your voice calm and look the other person in the eye. Ask God to give you a gentle spirit as you converse. Don’t give the devil a foothold; listen instead. It takes courage to take criticism but it’s possible to do with a graceful spirit when you see conflict as an opportunity to love well and obey Jesus.  

Next, after they have shared their grievance, don’t respond in a tit-for-tat fashion, pointing out what they have done to you. Don’t say, “Well you did . . .” or “Well, you said . . .” or “What about what you did to me?” Defensiveness will not serve you well in making the other person feel understood, appreciated, or heard. Again, listen first and use phrases that create safety in the relationship such as, “Tell me more about that” “That makes sense” “What do you need from me now?” or “What would you like me to do if this happens again?” 

Apologize. When you know you’re not in the wrong (most conflict is caused by misunderstandings) but the other person believes you are at fault, it can feel disingenuous to apologize. But remember, your goal is not to prove you are right. You are there to minister to the other person and restore the relationship. So instead say, “I’m very sorry.” Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re accepting blame; it simply means you’re acknowledging the other person’s pain. You can also say, “Thank you so much for talking with me about this. I’m glad you felt safe enough to do that.”

Next, after your conversation, don’t go running to someone else and tell them what happened. Instead, go to God first. It’s natural to want to vent, but it most likely won’t be good for you or the person listening to you. Instead, wait until your emotions have calmed, and you have had a chance to think and pray about what happened before talking with a third party. 

Next, after the conversation ends and you have told the other person everything is fine, don’t push them out of your life in a passive aggressive way. Make sure your words match what you do. Don’t extend and receive forgiveness but then punish the other person by distancing yourself from them. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Let love be without hypocrisy. 

If you find after your initial talk that there’s more you need to discuss because some thoughts or feelings have come up, go back to them again and tell them that you have been thinking about the conversation and that you’d like to talk a little more about it. This may happen if you didn’t get a chance to share your thoughts or perspective. Again, stay calm and make sure humility—and not pride—is ruling the conversation. 

Of course, if you are dealing with someone who is controlling, constantly critical or abusive, I suggest getting help from a qualified professional, but if the other person is an otherwise safe person, the above guidelines apply. 

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).


Lord, help me to honor you during conflict so that you are exalted and glorified and love reigns. Help me to keep any pride in check. I want all of my conversations to glorify you, even when it’s difficult. Amen.


Do you need to apply these truths to a difficult conversation today?

Related Reading

Matthew 5:37; Romans 12:9; 1 John 3:11

Worship Resource

Kevin Levar: A Heart That Forgives


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