Sometimes we can be bold, zealous and passionate in our own minds about what we think is “right” and when someone else just as passionate stands in front of us with a different perspective on the moment, we can tend to go to war against them instead of seeking peace.
For many of us, there is this tendency to seek fault in others in an effort to defend our own position and justify our own hurtful words or excuse our own improper actions towards others. This is not right, it is not helpful, and it is so centered upon self, like a spoiled little child demanding their own way, instead of being a patient, pensive, humble and mature adult that might step outside the situation, consider what is happening in this moment, in this interaction, in this relationship between two people and seek what brings healing and will most glorify God, not what makes us walk away feeling glorified ourselves.
In debates and in wars, men and women alike seek to walk away having won. By nature, we want to stand against our brother or sister to prove them wrong and prove ourselves right, so that we can walk away unchanged and they can stumble away hurt and defeated as proof that “I was right”. But this is not the purpose of confrontation, Christian.
Confrontation offers the opportunity for us to trust in a few of God’s explanations about how He works. A few that are helpful to me when I encounter a confrontation:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, SO ARE MY WAYS HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For WE DO NOT WRESTLE AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Ephesians 6:11-18 ESV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:6-12 ESV
If possible, SO FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:18-21 ESV
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And THE LORD’S SERVANT MUST NOT BE QUARRELSOME BUT KIND TO EVERYONE, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 ESV
I can be hard headed, stubborn, demanding my own way, and quarrelsome by nature, because I can be prideful and insistent upon “getting my own way” le a spoiled, rotten little child. But I have someone who walks with me now that teaches and gives me along a path of healing, when I am willing to listen. And when I do listen and let Him bring healing into the confrontation to see peace and joy fall upon the circumstances, my eyes are opened to joyfully gain a brother and a friend, instead of us blindly thinking that we are each other’s enemies.
Let’s pray today that this Word of God will be written upon our hearts, that our minds will be renewed by it, that the Holy Spirit of God will manifest greater in our lives than our own weaknesses, that peace, patience, kindness, and all those things of His nature will be evident in our confrontations to the point that we will always surrender to His higher ways, so that God gets the victory and the glory. And when we do, the riches of what is built up is so much greater than the spoils left after tearing things down in battle. Thank you, Lord for living us first. Please teach us even more how to love you and serve you by loving one another. Amen.