Learning To Confront

(2 Cor. 2:1–4)

Sometime ago David Augsburger wrote an excellent book called Caring Enough to Confront. In it he showed that if we really care about others, we will be willing to confront them when their actions call for it. Paul, who cared enough to confront the Corinthians in his first letter, shows us here just how to go about confronting.

First, he confronted to avoid a greater grief that would otherwise distort their relationship (v. 1). Confronting is a way to keep relationships strong and warm, for things left unmentioned can bring grief.

Second, his goal was not to hurt but to heal (v. 2). Confrontation works only when your motive is to help the other person. Don’t think you can confront in anger or antagonism. Your hostility will come through more strongly than any of your words.

Third, he expected a positive response. It takes a large dose of trust in others to free us to confront. Paul’s trust had solid roots in his faith in God. He knew God was at work in his brothers and sisters. God would use his blunt words to help them and to heal.

Finally, Paul hurt with the Corinthians as he confronted them. He wrote “out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears” (v. 4). Confrontation must grow out of and be an expression of love. You need to hurt along with the person you confront. Your pain will prove your love, and move the other person to respond.

Do you care enough to confront others when they go wrong? Be sure your confrontation is marked by a desire to deepen the relationship, by love, by positive expections—and by personal grief and pain.


Leave a comment

Filed under Manage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s