Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A "Ministry of Confrontation?"

In the previous Post I spoke of speaking the truth in love. That comes from Ephesians 4:15, and although it is for the recipients benefit, it is for ours as we grow in maturity.

But how do we do that? I jokingly said to a friend of mine the other day, "Ugh. I hope that God is not growing in me the "ministry of confrontation" (if there is one) -- I am sure getting a lot of training time in this arena, and I am getting worn out!"

I am sure we have all said it -- "I just don't like confrontation. I am not a confrontational person," and usually we use that as an excuse to not do it. Now, I am also sure that we would agree that some people must like it, or at least they seem to eek out of it some sort of self-satisfaction, or relief at the very least, but I am not sure these people are doing it in love. The truth is, it is hard for most of us to have to confront at all, especially in love. It is a vulnerable and daunting place to be. A humble place to be. A scary place to be.

Despite these feelings, we are called to live in the truth, share the truth and expose the truth. However, in order to do this we must first be willing to wade through the murky waters of our own sin to arrive at a place of presenting the truth -- to step out humbly, aware of our own frailty and dirt. We must be gentle, not vindictive. We must seek God for when to share, how to share and what to share. We must be bold. We must be willing to listen to the other person and hear what they have to say. We must be wise, and we must understand that allowing them to continue in their sin is not loving them, and in fact, may be aiding them. Confronting in love may be a place of holy ground.

A dear, wise friend of mine shared with me this past week a saying that she had heard about sin. I was preparing to confront someone in love over their sin and the effects that it had on me. She said, and I paraphrase, "Sin takes you further than you want to go, makes you stay longer than you want to stay and costs you more than you want to pay."

Dear reader, the "ministry of confrontation?" I don't know, maybe it is more like a "ministry of grace" as we step out in to the truth and help to disrupt the twisted, far reaching entrenched effects of sin. Maybe we must pay a price and take a risk, so that they will not. Do so in love. Do so boldly. Do so humbly. Do so gently.

Ephesians 4:15 says that in "speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Be encouraged, God uses our willingness to step out in obedience and speak the truth in love as a means to grow us in maturity, making us more like Jesus, and that is a humbling to me.

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