Rules of Engagement for Confrontation

By Gaylyn WilliamsWith 0 comments

Rules of Engagement for Confrontation

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 NIVGentle answer turns away wrath

A friend said some very mean things to me and about me. After prayerfully considering what to say, I told her how much I appreciated her friendship. Then I confronted her about how much her words hurt me. Her immediate response was to get very angry and begin blaming me. She said I deserved everything that was said. Then she started telling me everything she didn’t like about me. I listened, not knowing what I could say to stop her barrage.

Once she began to calm down, I was able to tell her how her words hurt me. I listened when she told me why she said what she did. When I shared my feelings, she apologized. I asked her to come to me in the future if she was upset with me. She began to understand how her words could damage. That conversation drew us much closer together than we had ever been. If I hadn’t been willing to risk confronting her, I probably would have drifted away from the relationship, and she may never have known why.

Sometimes when we confront someone, they respond positively, but other times, like with Suzi, they respond very negatively. What we do then determines what the outcome might be, although no matter what we do, we can’t force the other person to react well. All we can do is follow some guidelines and pray.

You may think avoiding or ignoring the issue will make it go away, but it rarely will. Ask yourself, “What kind of member of my community (name the community) am I, if I am unwilling to confront to forge the way toward more effective communication and understanding?”

Reconcilable Differences has biblical, practical guidelines you can use when confronting anyone.


Excerpted from God’s Design for Community: Proven Relationship Skills for Christians

Available as a book, online course and live training.

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Blessings on you today and in the coming days.

Gaylyn Williams, Author of From 2031 Names of God: Transform Your Life as You Get to Know God in New Ways

Co-author of Never Do Fundraising Again: A Paradigm Shift from Donors to Lifelong Partners. This is a great resource for any missionaries, short-term or long-term, who have to raise their support.

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