By Kelly Carr
Clearly I’m not the one who should be writing this. I can barely type the word confrontation, much less expertly navigate the subject. I’d go miles out of my way, climb up and over tall mountains, and forge through rapid waters to avoid confrontation. I don’t like debates or politics or even taking strong stands on social media because those things tend to merely divide when all I want is for everyone to peacefully get along.
Yet, when handled in the right way, I recognize the necessity of confronting.
Both Ends of the Spectrum
When coming up with this topic, I chose it so I can learn too. I decided to seek out good articles by others and then dig in, read well, and take copious notes so I can learn to apply Jesus’ example to my own life. Because confrontation happens, even when we aren’t the ones initiating it. God himself did it, and it can be helpful to growth.
While my mistake is trying to shy away from confrontation, the other end of the spectrum isn’t great either. Some people revel in confrontation. They pick fights with glee and bring up issues that aren’t really even issues. They proceed with malicious intent toward being proven right when compromise and submission are called for.
Somewhere there has to be a middle ground.
Seeing the Shortcomings
Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day. He also confronted those closest to him. It’s interesting to see when he confronted and when he used other methods, what attitudes and actions motivated him to confront people, and in what ways he approached the confrontations.
As with everything in his life, Jesus sought the Father’s kingdom first. Even confrontation was done with God’s glory in mind. Yet people weren’t lost on Jesus. Surely he saw their hearts and wanted to do what was necessary to make sure they were turned toward God.
In order to grow in godliness, we need to make changes. And in order to change, we have to be able to see our own shortcomings. Sometimes it takes people caring about us enough to be willing to push past the awkwardness and confront us on a matter. As many of our parents told us, “I’m doing this for your own good.”
Truly at the heart of every confrontation should be the desire to work a situation out for the good—the good of God’s gospel, the good of others. Let’s see what we can learn from the Master so that we speak up when needed but not spout off for personal gain. When we live out each aspect of our lives for the good of God and others, we will find it’s for our own good as well.