Uhmmm…how true it is! Beware of the pitfalls of confronting…MERCY must always have its place!
Here’s something I recently read by Rebekah Montgomery. See what you think…
I’m Not Perfect But…
2 Pitfalls and a Big Blessing in Confronting in Love
By Rebekah Montgomery
I don’t know about you, but I hate to confront people. I’d rather sulk and smolder with resentment. Or better yet, step back and watch God drop some old-fashioned smiting on them.
Yet confronting those who have wronged us is the only loving, just, and right thing to do:
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:15
Yikes! Secret sulking is not allowed. Nor is smiting. God makes us—you and me!—responsible for addressing wrongs committed against us.
Which brings us to Pitfall # 1: Beware of assuming “they know what they did and it’s up to them to apologize.” Your offender may be totally unaware you are offended.
Here’s a hint from someone (me) who frequently gets tongue-tied during confrontations: Before you confront, articulate the wrong you feel has been perpetrated against you. Be specific. Write it down if you have to. The problem may not be theirs at all. It maybe YOU who were having the bad day.
Which leads us to Pitfall # 2: Beware of transferring your motivations and judgments to others.
Did you hear the one about the three ladies returning from a concert given by famous Gospel soprano “Susie Songbird”? Susie wore her hair long and loose, Lady Godiva-style, and the women were discussing it.
The first lady (with a short-cropped, fuss-free haircut) said: “Susie must be very haughty to wear her hair so long.”
“Oh, no,” said the second lady (sporting a piled-up Pentecostal ‘do). “Susie’s long hair shows her great humility and godliness.”
“You’re both wrong,” said the third lady (a busy career woman-mother-community volunteer badly in need of a trim). “Susie’s just too busy doing important things to get a decent haircut!”
Funny, but too true: When judging others, often we are gazing in the mirror rather than looking through a window. The faults and motivations we think we see in others may, in fact, be our own reflection — so be aware of your own shortcomings.
Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5
In short, the speck we think we see in someone else’s eye may, in fact, be an up-close view of the log in our own eye.
However, when we confront in love, there comes to us the Big Blessing: God confronts us gently about our sins when we gently confront others who have wronged us.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12
As we behave toward others who wrong us, we show God how we want to be treated when we sin against Him. In other words, demand that God smite and you’ll be smitten. And believe me: God really knows how to smite. Ask the Philistines, the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, or anyone else ever smitten.
Makes you think twice about demanding God smite your enemies, doesn’t it?
© Rebekah Montgomery 2010
For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website, www.Rebekah Montgomery.com
Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than five books and has penned 1,100 articles. To book Rebekah for your next event visit www.rebekahmontgomery.com.