As Christians, we are often called by God to confront others about their conduct and conversation. You and I don't have the luxury of letting things "slide," but instead, we have to deal with behaviors and situations that are offensive to the Lord. This often puts us in conflict with others, even some of our closest loved ones.
Sometimes, God gives us a restlessness in our souls when we are failing to deal with something or someone that He wants us to handle personally. There will be no peace for us until we obey the Lord in the matter. If we will seek Him for His wisdom and courage in the situation, He will use us mightily to impact the lives of those around us.
Here is the best news in all this - we can rely on the Holy Spirit for help. Jesus said, "Make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." (Luke 21:14-15 NIV) The Master says, "Make up your mind not to worry beforehand," because He knows that we have a tendency to overthink things. We will have an entire conversation with someone else in our heads, and we will try to anticipate what they are going to say to us, and what we will say in response. And we will scare ourselves or make ourselves mad before we ever speak a word. That's why Jesus says, "I will give you the right words at the right time - so stop worrying!"
There have been times when I have prayed, "Lord, please deal with them about this matter - You know that if I try to do it, I will say the wrong thing!" Most of time, God says "no" to my appeal, and He withholds His peace until I deal with the matter according to His will and timing.
It's true that confronting someone about their improper behavior can be a messy business. It can be risky because we never know how the other person will react. I have seen things turn ugly pretty quickly when I have dealt with others at the Lord's direction. But I will tell you the absolute truth - God always works things out for my good somehow when I obey Him in this area.
The apostle Paul wrote: "So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me." (Colossians 1:28-29 NLT) We are called by Christ, and endowed with His wisdom, to "warn" others when their behavior or speech is offensive to God, and to "teach" them the right way to live. Our purpose is not to hurt or belittle them, but to "present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ." As Paul indicated, it can be hard work, so we must depend on "Christ's mighty power" that continually works within us.
If you sense that the Lord is prompting you to deal with something or someone today - and you are hesitating - let me encourage you by saying, "You can do this!" You have the Spirit of the living God on the inside of you, and He will equip you and enable you to obey Him, even in the most difficult of situations. Let your declaration of faith be the same as the apostle Paul's today - "I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power!" (Philippians 4:13 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, if there's anyone I need to confront about anything right now, please reveal it to me. Give me the right words at the right time by Your Spirit, so that my efforts will be successful. Prepare hearts ahead of time, so that my words will be well received. Thank You that as I obey You in this area, You will ultimately work all things together for my good!
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