Most people hate confrontation and will do almost everything to avoid it. The only people who enjoy confrontation are bullies who like to push people around.
Why do most people hate confrontation?
1. Most people view confrontation as a negative action.
Ask the average person on the street, “What is the purpose of confrontation?” and they will say something like, “To point out someone’s mistakes.” In truth, most people believe confrontation is just a way to make someone feel shameful about something they said or did.” But, the goal of confrontation is not to point out a person’s sins. The ultimate purpose of confrontation is to restore broken relationships. Sin divides relationships, but confrontation paves the way for forgiveness and reconciliation. Confrontation is not a bad thing; it is a positive action because it restores and strengthens relationships!
2. Most people think confrontation makes things worse.
Confrontation comes with some risks. The person you confront can disagree with you, call you a liar, or get angry and tell you off. It is possible the person you are confronting will get their feelings hurt and leave the relationship. There is a risk involved with confrontation. But, the pros far outweigh the risks. As a human being, you need to confront the people who hurt you or you will become a bitter person. Bitter people are miserable and eventually want to spread their misery to others. The Bible says resentment will poison every part of your lives (Hebrews 12:15). Another reason you need to practice confrontation is to stop your offender from committing the same mistake. You do not want to keep getting verbally or physically abused by the same person.
3. Most people do not know how to confront correctly.
Correct confrontation is not taught in most homes. If anything, most children today are taught by their parents to avoid confrontation or to seek revenge. In reality, most kids are taught by their parents to either run away from or return fire rather than confront their offenders! But, there is no excuse for confrontational ignorance. God has given us the Bible to teach us how to correctly confront those who offend us. The Word of God not only shows us how to confront, but it also shows us how to apply forgiveness and fully restore our divided relationships.
The Four Keys to Correct Confrontation:
1st Key: Confront early
“Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
In Ephesians 4:26-27, the Apostle Paul gives us two benefits of confronting early: First, Paul tells us if we confront early, we will avoid letting our anger grow to the place where it controls us and causes us to sin. Second, Paul tells us if we confront early, we will keep Satan out of our homes. According to Paul, bitterness gives the Devil a foothold in our lives. (A foothold is when a soldier clasps his hands together to form a stirrup so he can help his buddy get over a high wall or fence.) Unresolved offenses or disagreements allow the Devil to move into your home, and trust me, he is not a good roommate!
2nd Key: Confront calmly
It’s normal to get angry when someone offends or hurts you, but anger, like all your emotions, must be governed or it will cause you to say and do foolish things. Rational thinking shuts down when tempers flare-up!
“Someone with a quick temper does foolish things, but someone with understanding remains calm.” Proverbs 14:17 NCV
“Don’t be quick-tempered, for anger is the friend of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT
Do not confront your offender when you’re hot! Instead, take some time and go somewhere and do something that will calm you down. Go jogging, hit a heavy bag, go for a swim, do a hobby, or talk to a good friend. Do something healthy to cool off so you can confront your offender calmly.
Some questions to ask yourself to see if you have cooled off enough to confront:
• Are you ready to speak the truth?
• Are you ready to communicate your thoughts using constructive words?
• Are you ready to give or accept forgiveness?
3rd Key: You must confront kindly.
If you want someone to respond to you and your point of view favorably, you have to confront them kindly. For, it matters not only what you say, but how you say it.
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18 NLT
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:1–2 NLT
FYI: The best way to show kindness during a confrontation is to speak in turn, speak softly, and listen.
4th Key: You must confront purposefully.
Many people try to use confrontation to embarrass or shame the person who hurt or offended them. But, the purpose of confrontation is not to make someone feel bad, it is restoration.
If you want to keep confrontation focused on restoration, you must…
- Expose the real hurt.
You must confront the real words and actions that hurt you to move forward in your relationship with the person who hurt you.
- Find a solution that will fully restore your relationship with your offender.
Confrontation is not about telling your offender off; it is about showing them how to have healthy relationships. In this way, confrontation (when done properly) is loving and serving others as Jesus loved and served others.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” Matthew 18:15 NLT
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