Afraid of confrontation?

I do not like confrontation, and even though I have found it to be necessary, and many times the best and most healthy thing to do, I find myself wanting to avoid it at all costs.  Sometimes, I still physically have tremors in a confrontational situation.  However, after resolving the conflict I am always grateful that I got to the bottom of it and found resolve.  I have a fairly strong belief which I live by, and it’s the idea that leaving things unresolved creates holes between people, and causes even the little things to eventually build up into feelings that take a long time to untangle.

In the Church this is even more critical and I believe it is a necessity if we want healthy churches.  I could go on and quote a lot of scripture, and I know it’s there but I’m too tired to go look it all up right now, yet these things are more of a learned idea then a studied one.  We don’t have much of a choice in the Church to avoid confrontation, we should be living together reconciling differences, and sharpening each other.  When we notice something of another person, we should be able to confront them in love. This last sentence though comes with a lot of weight, our culture doesn’t cultivate loving confrontation very well, if at all.

Instead of lovingly correcting, encouraging, or pointing out flaws, our culture likes to put people down, discourage, and give “last chances”.  It isn’t that a “last chance” is wrong, or even that it isn’t necessary at times – it’s that within the context of the Church that people get treated like the rest of the world.  Jesus didn’t say to give people a last chance (that’s his job), he directed us to do the most we can do here on earth to encourage people towards him.

I could write a whole lot more, and I probably will.  My last thought for tonight – without honest, loving, graceful truth-filled confrontation the Church can’t function as a light.  We need people to be built up, lovingly guiding, encouraging, and confronting.  If people are over promising and under delivering in the Church, that isn’t light producing, and it requires adjustment, and many times it will be you who needs to help adjust another part in the body.

Remembering authenticity

It is easy to get caught up in the ups and downs of life.  Making sure the details are done, that things are communicated, it could go on forever, trying to make all the pieces of life come together.  While getting the pieces in order are important, I hope I never neglect relationships because I’m trying make stuff happen.  There are times where things need to get done, but I have made a promise to God, myself, and others that I will put them first, the feeding of a person’s soul is more important, and always will be, than the finishing of projects.  Projects are measurable, people are priceless.

For me to do any ministry with integrity, I must remain authentic to my heart.  If that means approaching someone in confrontation, or being the one to point out the elephant in the room when it wouldn’t be the popular thing to do – than that’s what it means.  But I do it in grace, and with integrity for others in mind, and above all else… I do it while depending on the Holy Spirit to guide the words, the timing, and the love.  It’s hard, but the more I walk in it, the more I see God’s hand and heart for all of humanity.