Oh my, my my ladies and gentlemen! This book, My Sister’s Keeper by Sheila Harper has grabbed onto our Arise Daughter book club in a godly and convicting way! We just completed chapter four which was all about choosing how to deal with an offense. While Sheila offered two biblically based solutions on how to handle conflict: 1. Ignore the offense or 2. Confront the offense, I would like to humbly delve into just one: Confronting the person in Love.
Confrontation is a tricky stance right? Once you’ve chosen it, for whatever reasons that are in your heart, it has to be done well in order to not sever a godly tie to the person you are confronting. Now, Sheila doesn’t mention this step but, I would first say, make sure that what has happened, from God's perspective, is truly an offense. Check it through the lens of ego, emotional baggage and Holy Spirit before you name it truly offensive. Ask yourself: ‘is it against me or against one of God’s precepts? This step will allow you the embarrassment of REACTING instead of UNDERSTANDING; and we would all want empathy and Grace at this stage right?
Next, Leviticus 19:17 in the Christian Standard Bible says: “Do not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him.” Three words stood out to me immediately: Rebuke, Directly and Guilt. First of all, what does it mean to “rebuke?” It is a sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions (Oxford dictionary). That it is NECESSARY to rebuke the wrongdoing seems directly tied to our experiencing UNNECESSARY guilt when we do not confront the sin: and who needs unnecessary guilt right? The catch in between is that we do it DIRECTLY. This will be a foreign concept to many who are used to airing their grievances through a third party-which clearly is NOT how we are to handle the situation.
I can hear crickets chirping...
Why bring all this up in a Monday blog? Because, when you serve in ministry with others, there WILL come a time when you MUST confront an offense. And I wanted to share with someone today that confrontation is OK. Not only is it OK but, it removes the guilt of not dealing with what is clearly an issue. We know how the enemy loves it when we allow sin to fester and gain the strength to infect the whole ministry. But, when we confront in love, with compassion and quick forgiveness--when that person repents--the enemy quickly loses his footing and has nowhere to land except flat on his face. Our King Jesus is clear by making the Levitical mandate even more perfect when He says: “Pay attention and always be on guard (looking out for one another)! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. (Luke 17:3 AMP). And then, guess what? We can all move on, serving side by side in Love (maybe a little touchy love but, love nonetheless!).
Confrontation then is at the core of the ministry of reconciliation which we are all charged to serve in: Corinthians 5:18 NLT: “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”
So when we see it really isn’t about us, but about helping our sisters and brothers be reconciled to God, it kinda makes the confrontation less personal yet more convicting wouldn’t you say?
Have a happy and blessed Monday and Much Love!!!!