That knot builds in the pit of your stomach.
You avoid thinking about the problem for days. Finally, you avoid the person all together.
God has made it obvious to you that there is a problem and you are the person He want to confront your friend/loved one about it.
How can you confront someone in love? Personally, I think there are several good models. I happen to be reading Galatians this morning, and found a model I thought I’d share:
- Set a background – Paul spends the first 2 of six chapters setting up his confrontation. A full third of the book. He reminds them of his personal story.
- Confront succinctly – Very briefly, Paul states his frustration.
- Lead with a question – the majority of Paul’s confrontation is in the form of a question – “Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?”
- Address the root – Paul spent the next chapter and a half assuring the Galatians that they were Children of Promise, and didn’t need to ‘earn their stripes.” Interestingly, he doesn’t identify their feelings for them, he just addresses the root.
- Show them your personal concern – Although Paul comes on strong in the beginning, he now lets them know he cares for them, is concerned for their well-being, that he loves them.
- Remind them of your history – Paul reminds them of their shared history, of their personal relationship.
- Provide a healed vision for the future – Paul then paints a vision for the future in chapters 5 & 6. These chapters might say “this is what victorious living looks like.”
- Set the stage
- Confirm Relationship
- Show Vision for a Positive Future
Telling someone things they don’t want to hear is never easy.
How do you know when you have to confront someone in love? When it is the most loving thing to do.