Hands down, confrontation is not easy. I think I could vouch for many when I say, "No one really likes confrontation." Mainly, because it's awkward. Other reasons I believe are because we don't quite know how the other person will respond. Yet, that's when we have to pray and decide when, if, and how we need to confront someone.
Again, one reason why I think we don’t jump at the opportunity with great excitement or determination to confront someone is because we don’t know their reaction. For instance, will he or she lie about their actions, act like they have no clue what you're talking about, get defensive or angry, react like you're accusing them of something, or act differently towards you because you had to deal with the issue concerning them. Another reason is because as a child of God, we genuinely have a desire to confront and respond properly, yet that doesn’t mean that it’s easier.
Personally, I have to confront two situations at the time of this writing. I don’t really want to, but I know that I have to at some point, because these two particular individuals haven’t stopped their actions. Both have said and done some things that have hurt and upset me. And the more it goes unchecked, the more uncomfortable it will be to interact with them. Hence, I need to confront them. I’m praying about the timing (when) at this point. (NOTE: I’d appreciate the prayers that both go over well)
The whole point of confronting someone is conflict resolution (and to hopefully and prayerfully get the other individual to understand that what they've done affected you in some way and was not right). Now, I have to say, sometimes it could very well be unintentional or a misunderstanding altogether, but sometimes they just may be doing something that is plain wrong. That’s when you have to decide if, when, and how to confront them.
So, let’s dig into when, if, and how to confront someone with a few biblical and practical tips. Here goes…
When – Decide when is a good time to confront the person who has offended, hurt, or upset you. I can honestly tell you that confronting them when you’re really angry is NOT a good time, sis. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:22, “An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.” (NLT) So wait until you’re not as hot about it. Give it at least 24 hours to pray about it. Ultimately, God knows what to do and when you need to approach the issue and person. So be sensitive to your own emotions, calm down, pray about it and for the individual, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to set the right time to call or have the conversation (and to have the right words).
If – You also need to decide “if” you need to confront the person at all. Some things are not that serious. If it was a one-time thing, let it go. Forgive quickly and keep moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, in every situation we need to forgive, but the point here is that if the offense was something that didn’t really bother you, shake it off and keep going. Some things are not worth fretting over. Proverbs 24:19 says, “Do not fret because of evil doers.” You have to watch out for the enemy who is just waiting for a fight or argument to break out unnecessarily. Don’t give into his bait. #moveon
How – For starters, pray. Ask the Lord how you should go about confronting the person. He knows. He may lead you directly through the Holy Spirit, a book, article, blog, or wise counsel. Look for Him and listen to Him in the way that you should go. He may lead you to call the individual or meet up in person. It may be over coffee or in a less formal setting. In either case, when you know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is leading you to confront the person, you need to do it. He will show you exactly how. He will be with you. So, don’t be afraid. But here's a quick and powerful biblical tip from James 1:19, “...Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” Apply this as you’re confronting the individual. (Good memory verse, by the way)
Listen, sis. Resolving conflict and confronting people is not easy. Trust me. I know. But it’s a way to free everyone - including you.
*A good book that I want to recommend in this blog post is, “Conflict Resolution: Solving Your People Problems” by June Hunt. Grab it today on Amazon!
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Where are you on this issue right now, sis? Do you feel the need to confront an issue with someone? Do you have a question or need prayer in this area? If so, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org today. I look forward to hearing from you soon! God bless!
ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is FINALLY available!!! Purchase here.