Sometimes in life, things get sticky. Things are said or done. You misinterpret something.And somehow, somebody’s feelings get hurt. If you’re human and have relationships with other humans, things will sometimes get messy. It’s kinda inevitable.
But, what happens after the hurt is a different story.That, my friend, is up to you.
While there’s many different ways to handle sticky situations and hurts, and the best solution will vary for each circumstance, I want to encourage us to not rule out the option of confrontation.
Confrontation. That word is intimidating. It means talking about the situation (and each person’s interpretation of it).It means I have to be vulnerable. I have to be willing to let my weakness show. I risk making someone upset or causing them to accuse me of “being too emotional”. I risk looking insecure or sensitive or downright ugly.
It’s freaking scary.
Granted, confrontation isn’t always the best way to handle a situation… but I certainly think it’s one we need to consider more. So often we blow things off or try to ignore it–but, if that hurt and frustration aren’t dealt with, they can easily build up and become bigger than they need to be. If we don’t express our feelings to someone who has offended us, they could easily keep right on hurting us, without even knowing it! Doesn’t really seem fair to keep getting upset with someone, for something they didn’t even know was upsetting you…
Of course, there’s many harmful or unproductive ways to go about confrontation. Accusing, being angry, manipulative ultimatums, bitterness in your heart…none of those are going to be very helpful.
Confrontation out of genuine love, however, is truly precious. It says, “Hey, I care about you and our relationship enough to work through this. I’m willing to be vulnerable and take a risk for our relationship. I’m also willing to hear your heart, and really listen. Let’s find a way to make things better.”
*Confrontation in love means being humble enough to hear the other person out.
*Confrontation in love means getting your heart right with Jesus before hand–so you can go into the conversation with true compassion for the other person, instead of being ready to fight.
*Confrontation in love means choosing to forgive, no matter how the other person responds.
*Confrontation in love means respecting yourself and others enough to be real.
*Confrontation in love means letting Jesus give you His perspective to “filter” your heart through, instead of choosing to cling to any bitterness, anger, self-righteousness, pride, or vengeance.
Confrontation in love requires us to lean on Holy Spirit. It means we have to lay down our desire for revenge or to make the other person feel like a jerk or to throw a pot of hot coffee on them, and instead, love them as Christ does…even if it’s not fun.Confrontation makes me have to be vulnerable and show my-totally-flawed-easily-hurt-not-super-pretty-human-side.
But when led by Christ, confrontation can be one of the most beneficial things we can do for our relationships. Something to think about.
(Matt. 18:15-20, Philippians 2:3-4, Proverbs 27:6-7)