The Beauty of a Loving Confrontation

Last week a good friend of mine pointed out something that I could be working on spiritually. He did it in a spirit of love and humility instead of arrogance [1] but that didn’t keep me from getting angry at first.

None of us actually feel good when people point out a weakness (whether they are right or wrong doesn’t really matter) so it’s actually normal to respond with hostility.

But we must make sure that isn’t our last response.

As I read his words over and over again [2] my mind started asking some very hard questions.

  1. Is he writing this just to be mean? No
  2. Does he give proof as to how my weakness is affecting things in the wrong way? Yes
  3. Is this actually a weakness in my life? Yes
  4. Is the Lord using him in this situation? Yes

This experience has taught me there is a special beauty in a loving confrontation.

Sadly the world is filled with people who are overly critical and go around looking for something to fight about. So we forget sometimes that there is a big difference between this, and a loving confrontation.

  1. A loving confrontation takes emotion out of the situation as much as possible
  2. It’s goal is to help the person work on a weakness they cannot see [3]
  3. It comes from someone who has genuine concern for your well-being
  4. And it hopes to begin a conversation about the weakness that can lead to growth

The problem is we don’t notice a loving confrontation when it appears, and respond the same way we would with mean-spirited criticism

This is why a cooling-down period and evaluation of what the person was saying is so important. It allows us to learn if it’s done in love, or the person just wants to give us a hard time.

If this is a loving confrontation then we are called by God to completely embrace it.

The reason why is we often don’t see our own weaknesses, or how our actions are being perceived by others. Christian friends are a tool that God uses to lovingly point out those weaknesses that we don’t notice on our own.

Of course that doesn’t mean we should just go around looking for people to lovingly confront. Only those things which have a direct effect upon others should be pointed out.

Okay so how are we supposed to respond to a loving confrontation?

  1. Take a day to think about what they had said [4]
  2. Think seriously about the weakness they are referring to in the confrontation
  3. Respond to the individual confessing that particular weakness [5]
  4. Make changes in your life to ensure this weakness doesn’t happen again

There is something sort of humiliating about confessing your weakness to another individual I know. But the fact that this person genuinely cares about us gives the confidence needed to share our weakness.

  1. trying to make me look bad  ↩
  2. he wrote a letter which in my opinion is one of the best ways to confront someone in love since they are able to revisit the situation once their emotions have calmed down  ↩
  3. as opposed to just tearing them down  ↩
  4. or sufficient time for emotions to cool down  ↩
  5. this is a problem I should be working on  ↩

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