There’s a common theme in my life, and I’m not sure if it’s good or bad.
God often brings me close to situations and people who end up needing feedback. God brings me into the inner circle of folks, lets me fall in love with them, then zooms my perspective out so I can see some issues in their lives. He asks me to toy with confrontation.
It’s not a fun place to be. But it’s happened enough times that I wonder what in the world the Lord is doing. Why would He bring me into the middle of a fiasco, then pull me out? Why would He want me to practice confrontation? Doesn’t He realize I’m terrible at confrontation? I like peace. I like harmony. I don’t like bringing up issues.
And yet, when He has asked me to, even though it hurt like needles poking flesh (I’m being a little dramatic…but it did feel awful), I knew I had to say the thing. He brought me close to the pain for a reason. Because He loves those folks and wants them to be whole.
Now before you think me a crazy person who runs around confronting people, I can attest that I don’t. And I can also reassure you that I have been confronted by friends. I don’t always react well. In fact, when I first hear a constructive piece of criticism, I want to holler and defend myself (and I do!). But after I lick my wounds, I slowly begin to realize what a risk it was for my friend to say these hard things. And after I sift through the comments, and I ask Jesus to show me my sin, I am grateful that someone loved me enough to say the hard things.
Here’s the skinny: we’re blind. We can’t see our own foibles, faults and sinful tendencies. Or maybe we see them, but we shove them into closets and hope for the best. But God loves us too much to let us falter the rest of our lives. He sends people quite strategically to speak life and truth to us. Often, He allows confrontation.
Sometimes God calls us to risk relationship and say the hard thing. Click to tweet.
Sometimes God calls us to listen quietly to feedback and not retaliate. Click to tweet.
And all the time, God calls us to examine our hearts and dare to grow. Click to tweet.
Maybe you’re like me: maybe you’ve been sent into a painful situation. You started the relationship joyfully and wide eyed, only to see things in the other that didn’t quite add up. In that awkward space of seeing a thing and not knowing what to do, simply ask God for the next step. And then obey, leaving the results in His hands.
Or maybe you recently received feedback from someone. Instead of demonizing the messenger, go to Jesus and ask for His help sifting through the criticism. Sometimes folks are just plain wrong, and you can joyfully discard the piece of advice. Sometimes they are right on, and you’ll be faced with an opportunity to repent and practice humility.
Either way, mind if I pray for you?
Jesus, for those who are being called to confront, I pray You’d grant BRAVERY. Give courage to say the words You would have them say. Help them entrust that precarious relationship to You. Be with them in the moment. Grant peace to the hearer, and may there be reconciliation and grace. For those who have been confronted, help them retreat and spend time with You. Give them discernment to know what to internalize and what to fling. Use this confrontation experience to deepen their faith and trust in You. Amen.
So which do you relate to right now? Confronting or being confronted?