Confrontation That Kills

confrontation that killsOne of the most difficult relational moments is when we know we have to confront a loved one with the honest truth. If we don’t do this with the right heart, our confrontation can kill the relationship.


In Mark 11:25, Jesus explains that when you realize that you have a problem with somebody, you need to forgive them right away. Does that mean you should avoid confronting them? Not at all! In fact, according to Jesus in Matthew 18 and Paul in Galatians 6, you should go to them and talk about the offense.


So how does this work? Should we forgive people and then confront them? Yes! Unfortunately, we often confront them in a way that damages the relationship because we use confrontation as a way of paying them back.


By “just being honest” (sometimes brutally honest), we are actually getting revenge. They hurt us and now we are going to hurt them back. Confrontation without a forgiving heart is a relationship killer. They know you are doing payback. They will either be devastated or infuriated – or possibly both.


When you confront without a forgiving heart, you are NOT telling the truth for their sake. You are telling the truth for your sake, which will just cause more pain and resentment. This is why Jesus’ first step of confrontation is forgiveness, before you ever open your mouth.


As Christ followers, we know we live only by the forgiving grace of God. We must first forgive those that have sinned against us from our hearts and then go to confront them. If you do that, you can usually avoid the type of confrontation that kills relationships.


Submitted by Aaron Gable, Senior Pastor at LifeBridge Church. For more on confrontation and relationships, click to listen to Pastor Aaron’s podcast, Fight, part four – Reconciliation.

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