Christ-Like Confrontation Is Not Zero Confrontation

Today's post is by Emma Liddle.

I missed Vince???s sermon on Sunday because I was helping out with Lil K, but I got to
listen to it this morning (many thanks, Tech Team!). And I had some thoughts:

Yes, it is certainly true that much of our troubles could be taken care of if we were
more Christ-like in our confrontations with one another. It also might be easier. I mean,
seriously: dragging a mountain of dirty dishes into someone???s bedroom just seems like a
lot of work to me.

Because this is my issue with confrontation: I don???t want to do it.

Often, I think that by not confronting people, I am doing them a favor. I am maintaining
the peace. I get along better with people that way. I avoid unpleasantries. It makes life
easier.

But really, I???m just being relationally apathetic.

This is the wrong way of looking at the issue. Christ-like confrontation does not equal
zero confrontation. Jesus was often confrontational. He called people out on their dirty
dishes because he loved them.

God accepts us all, sinners as we are, but he doesn???t want us to continue to muddle
around in our sin, over and over again. And it???s for our own good. He wants us to reach
our full potential, and have the best lives we can.

So, we should only confront others about their sins out of love ??? it should build them up
and send them closer to God.

Besides, it is possible a lack of confrontation can cause the same trouble as piling it
up in the offender???s bedroom. If I see someone sinning (against me, against others,
against God, whatever), and I choose not to say anything to this person about it, I am
often choosing not to care about him or her. I???m not actually taking the higher road.
Especially since, most of the time, I???ll point out this person???s sin to someone else in
casual conversation. It makes for a good sitcom episode. Christian living: not so much.

Love means there might be some uncomfortable situations. It may mean having to take
some time out of my day to actually say something about that person???s actions ??? and it
means my motivations should not be self-serving, judgmental, or condemnatory. My
motivation should be to see God???s will done on earth as it is in heaven.

Because apathy may be worse than anger. It???s worse than love, that???s for sure.

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5 Comments on “Christ-Like Confrontation Is Not Zero Confrontation”

  1. Cathy R. says:

    How can I hear a copy of this sermon? Is it posted online? Could you email it to me?

  2. Emma says:

    Hi Cathy,It is posted online, actually! http://stpaulswired.org/sermons/If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find the audio player. The sermon is "One Brick at a Time 7" and the date for it was 3/20/2011.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny, I actually heard something on the Today Show this morning that relates to this, as part of a segment on how to know what to say in social situations. The comment was to check your motives before speaking and if they don’t come from genuine concern for the person, don’t say it. Even the world recognizes what works.

  4. Cathy R. says:

    Thanks!<br><br>– Cathy

  5. Jessica Nissen says:

    well said!


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