When someone sins against us we have two choices. We can cover the offence or we can confront it. We looked at when we can cover an offense in the last video. In this one, we’ll look at how to confront. First, we’ll list some wrong ways to confront sin and then some right ways.
- Address every problem and offense. See last video on overlooking.
- Avoid. Doing nothing about everything. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Escape by running away, by ending a relationship rather than trying to fix it.
- Compromise. I’m talking here about sinful compromise and pragmatism. This is motivated by politics and people-pleasing rather than principle.
- Delay. Waiting too long, letting things simmer, and eat away at you and others.
- Minimize. Play it down, say it doesn’t matter, when it really does.
- Attack. Focus on winning by bullying, manipulation, having the loudest voice.
- Pessimism. Think the worst of everyone, put worst construction on everything, expect the worst from the situation.
- Right context. For criticism or confrontation to have any hope of accomplishing anything, it should be set in the wider context of praise and appreciation. Very few people will listen to us tell them what’s wrong in their lives if we’ve never highlighted anything good in their lives.
- Right spirit. Get your own heart right with God before confronting anyone about their sin. Take the log out of your own eye first. Be gentle, kind, loving, calm, quiet.
- Right person. Don’t go behind people’s backs. Go straight to them with your concern.
- Right time and place. Choose the time that will be least stressful for both of you. As for place, preferably private. Don’t confront people in front of others. Do it face to face not via text, email, or phone.
- Right priorities. Separate primary from secondary issues.
- Right optimism. Try to put the best construction on what was done or said, give the benefit of the doubt.
- Right listening. Give the person a good hearing. Try to understand their point of view.
- Right aim. Aiming not at personal victory but at the glory of God and the person’s good and growth.
- Right humility. Confess your own faults and ignorance. Take responsibility for your contribution to any problem.
- Right forgiveness. Full forgiveness if fully confessed. But if no confession or repentance then you can only give it over to God rather than forgive the person. You remain willing to forgive but you cannot give forgiveness. See the next video on how to forgive when a person does not want forgiveness.
Real men confront sin.
- What mistakes do you usually make when you try to confront sin?
- Can you think of times when confronting sin went well? Why was that?
- What sin do you need to confront at the moment and what would be the best way to do that?