One of the hardest things for me is confrontation. I would say as a leader it was what I struggled with most. It is difficult to stand up to someone, to go face-to-face with someone and mention something that you take issue with, and for me, I always would get this nervous feeling in my stomach and my anxiety would run rampant when faced with the task. There were moments when I was too fearful and opted to do something else instead of confronting another person.
Rather than approaching a person to his or her face, I did the German thing. I stuffed it down. I kept my mouth shut about it. I was silent. This resulted in piling up frustration which turned to anger and resentment in many cases. It caused friction in relationships. Other times, I found myself sharing with a few others the issue at hand. There’s a word for this — gossip. It was too easy to be in a small group of others and agree with them — yes, I have a problem with this too… or oh, I have also noticed he did that a few times. Instead of taking the courageous, honorable steps to address with someone their shortcomings, I added to mine. This is not okay behavior and it really caused me to question myself.
Fear can keep you from confronting other people. We have fear that a person will get angry with us, and even raise their voices or shout at us and get violent. As someone who was on the receiving end of this type of scenario many times, it was something that kept me from acting appropriated. For other people, there is a fear that confronting another person will result in a dissolved relationship. However, we must consider this relationship. If you cannot be truthful in a relationship without a fall out, is it actually a strong and thriving relationship? For some people, there is an idea that you are not worthy enough to approach another person about a behavior or incident because you also have dirty hands. You also have fallen short. While it is true that we all have dirty hands, neglecting to confront our brothers and sisters has detrimental results. It causes us to have even dirtier hands. It causes us to sin which causes separation from God and the Body. It can cause many to stumble because the initial behavior is left unchecked.
Paul was able to stand face-to-face to Peter, despite Peter having this big reputation, and speak the truth. Speaking the truth in love is always the way to go in life. Whenever we duck, whenever we take another direction, it is our own sin we then must confront.
“When Peter visited Antioch, he caused the believers to stumble over his behavior, so I confronted him to his face.” – Galatians 2:11 [TPT]
Thank You Jesus for Your Word. Lord, we know that we have no reason to be fearful. Remind us of Your love and strengthen us for the day at hand. Help us to speak Your truth and to always do everything in love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!