Confrontation. A dreaded word for most. It’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward, and most think it’s unneeded. Our culture makes it seem that if someone approaches you and expresses discontent with you, that makes them a “b-word” or rude. People get easily offended, and often lash out on the person who is “offending” them. So what do people do instead of confront problems with another? They talk about the person behind their back. They bottle up all of their anger. They physically harm the person, or get revenge in a social way. Ellie Wiesel, a famous Holocaust survivor, once said, “Violence is a language. When language fails, violence becomes the language.” This means that when people can’t find the words to express emotions, they turn to something else. So instead of confronting each other, we harm each other, whether it is emotionally, physically, or socially.
Is this healthy? No! Psychologists are constantly saying that we need to confront our issues and talk them out. In family/marital/premarital counseling, the hardest part is getting the people fighting to communicate their emotions and discontent in things that the other person is doing. People just don’t understand how to communicate anymore, and maybe that’s becuase of technologies like texting and social networking that make communication “easier” and less confrontational. One of my favorite quotes is, “The more means of communication we have, the less we communicate (what we mean).” It’s so much easier to confront someone on Facebook than to go to them in real life and express an issue in words.
What does the Bible say?
Before you come to God, make sure you are right with others.
· Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:24
· Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger…Ephesians 4:26
Ask, what have I done in this situation? Have I sinned? What is the problem here?
· What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this,that your passions are at war within you? James 4:1-6
· You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
Confront in a calm and respectful tone…don’t get too emotional!
· A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
· “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. Matthew 18:15
· Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV
Forgive! You have been forgiven for much worse.
· Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13
· Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
· Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
If they don’t react well, then move on. Treat them like a brother.
· “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20
If it’s serious, get others involved.·
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:16-17
I used to react terribly towards problems and confrontation. I grew up in an environment where if you had beef with someone, you fought them. But that is not correct. Some people gossip about the person behind their back. Again, not right. The Biblical method is talking with a person about your discontent and maturely resolving the issue together. This is hard, I know! Many people are not raised to do this! I encourage everyone reading this to grow and learn how to approach problems in a healthy, Biblical way. And remember, if someone is confronting you with an issue, they don’t hate you! They desire to mend the relationship with you. And if you desire to mend the relationship with your brothers and sisters, you had better learn how to maturely and effectively confront.