In the body of Christ, we all have to deal with offenses which lead to confrontation. How we confront our brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, family members, coworkers, even the unsaved, makes all the difference in the world if we want to be peacemakers, maintain unity, and keep a good witness. That’s what I want to address today.
Lately, God has impressed upon me two areas where He wants me to come up higher in my love walk:
1) Think the best about others when I observe offensive behavior.
2) Be gentle when I have to confront people who cross my boundaries.
Because we live in a fallen world, we will step on each other’s toes or offend one another, from time to time. That’s when we have to employ the strategy of 2 Timothy 2:24-26 which reads:
24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
There are several nuggets we can take away from this so that when we do have to confront, we have the best possible outcome and get the results we desire.
- Be kind. Kindness will break down their defenses and make them more receptive to your message.
- Be a teacher. As a teacher, your goal is to help them to learn principles for interacting effectively with others.
- Be unresentful. Get rid of the anger before you approach them, and this will set the stage for a more fruitful outcome.
- Be gentle. Gentleness will cause them to be more likely to respond gently in return and keep the enemy from escalating the situation.
Furthermore, I think that if we apply the principle of “thinking no evil”
(I Corinthians 13:5), we will be much more likely to put these principles into practice. Very often we get angry because we believe that people are deliberately trying to hurt us when they really aren’t. As Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). II Timothy 2:26 confirms this when verse 26 says they need to come to their senses because the devil has “taken them captive to do his will.” They really don’t know what they are doing. We have to believe if they knew better they would do better.
When we confront God’s way, the results will be manifold and the offenders will:
- Be more likely to repent.
- Gain knowledge that will help them to improve their social interactions.
- Be enlightened and come out of their state of being deceived by the enemy.
- Be delivered from Satan’s control.
Saints, if you feel you need help in the area of confrontation, I challenge you to adhere to these guidelines laid out for us in the Word. We will probably have a better chance of a positive outcome if we can avoid generating defensiveness, and the Holy Spirit will be more able to effectively convict them. Finally, learning the art of confrontation is necessary if we want to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace as stated in Ephesians 4:3.
How can you apply 2 Timothy 2:24-26 to your relationships? Please leave a comment below.
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