Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conflict Resolution By Confronting Sin

Last week you and I looked at how resolving conflict is one way to bring godly correction. The second way you and I can correct each other in godliness is through confronting sin.

Whether you were sinned against, or you become aware of a fellow believer caught up in a pattern of sin, confrontation might be the right next step.

To “confront” just means “to bring face to face.” I’m not talking about those scary scenes where one person clearly has the floor and is making a speech full of criticism and judgement and the other person is trying not cry or be completely humiliated. I’m talking about getting face to face with someone because you love them deeply, from the heart, and you want to help them see a particular sin in their life, or to work through a conflict, or offense, to bring about forgiveness and reconciliation.

Scripture lays out several principles to follow when confronting someone about sin.
Proverbs 19:11A person’s wisdom gives them patience; it is their glory to overlook an offense.” If you are able to genuinely forgive someone, completely resolving the offense in your heart and mind, then no confrontation is necessary

However you must confront someone if
• you are unable to get the incident out of your mind
• you are unable to have a normal relationship with the person who has offended you or sinned against you
• you believe someone has something against you but is not coming to you

1) First, when a friend has sinned and you believe you need to speak to them ask yourself
• Is this sin a pattern
• Is it serious enough to need immediate attention?
• Am I the one to confront in this case?

When you are called to confront someone you are really being called to come alongside the work the Holy Spirit is already doing in that person’s life, not be the Holy Spirit.

2) Second, define the problem.
• What are you confronting this person about?
• What did this person do or say?
• Was sin involved, or was it a mistake, or a misunderstanding?
• What is the impact?
• How does this person need to change?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Make sure you define things Biblically, since it is only Scripture, and not our own thoughts and feelings, that is "God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man or woman of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

3) Third, make sure the log is out of your own eye, Matthew 7:1-5 in connection with Galatians 6:1. Confront in humility and fear of the Lord. If you are confronting someone who has sinned against you, you will often discover that your own sin has contributed to the situation.

Examine your heart. Is it possible that you might have become offended without there ever having been an offense? Maybe someone just did something that exposed your own selfishness, or pride. Sometimes being overly sensitive is really about that.

4) Prepare your heart
• Make sure your motives are right, to glorify God, turn your brother or sister away from sin, and be reconciled. In other words, not to win your case, or straighten them out, put them in their place, or relieve your own irritation.
• Make sure your attitude is right – gentleness, patience, humility and genuine concern for the well-being of the other person.
• Pray for effectiveness in communicating your concerns, that the other person’s heart would be prepared to receive, for your own teachableness, for God’s grace for repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

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