God has given us the responsibility to honestly confront those who do wrong. For most of us, confrontation is a difficult task. For a few, it’s much too easy as we become the police of everyone. Hopefully you don’t delight in finding fault in others. If you do, stop and consider if you do this as a way of overlooking your own faults.
Consider that God wants us to help others see the truth. You can hold up a mirror to your close friends and family and they hopefully will do the same for you. This can only happen in a trusted relationship, not as a critic who is not humble and loving. Recognizing we all have faults is a good first step. There’s a saying ‘if you spot it, you got it’, perhaps as we see others faults we might recognize areas where we need to change.
You’re not responsible for the behavior of others, but you are responsible to gently and tactfully point out areas of misbehavior that causes them to stumble, fall, or lose their way. Especially important to speak up when you are withdrawing from the relationship due to their behavior.
Are you avoiding some tough conversations? When you are you confronting friends or family, are you doing it with gentleness and humility? Check yourself. Is your tone respectful? Is your word choice uplifting or condescending? God calls you to show courage by addressing wrong, but remember the goal is always to see the other person restored, not belittled. Help that person turn back to God.
If you or someone you know is struggling in this area, call 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433). We’re here for you, and we can pray with you, help you find a counselor in your area, and let you know about resources we have available to help you.
By Steve Arterburn