Sometimes in life, it is necessary to confront others. The spirit of effective confrontation is built on a few truths. They build courage for the confrontation when they are needed too.
First off, do we always confront someone that offends us. Personally I would say no. In fact rarely. Most of the time, I just process the offense internally and forgive and let it be gone. When you realize who the real culprit is, that it is not the person who hurt you, this is not that hard most of the time.
But sometimes a confrontation is needed. It depends on the context and on the relationship. The closer you are to that person, the more likely that a confrontation will be needed. But it is more for that person’s benefit than yours. Remember, nobody but you holds the keys to your peace or joy.
When you confront out of the expectation that the confrontation will benefit you, rarely will it be affective. There will just be too many reactive components in the mix.
A wise person does not deny offense and treat it like nothing. But an enlightened person chooses a confrontation intentionally. It is not driven by a reaction to the offense. He chooses to enlighten others graciously when ever possible.
He can do so because he has built his reality on the truth where he knows that the outcome of the confrontation does not affect his well being. When I am aware that He who is in me is greater than anything the world throws at me, or any force that tries to steal or injure my well-being, the confrontation loses its ability to rock my world when it doesn’t turn out the way I want it too.
That is a necessary realization to take the pressure off. I can now make the confrontation about the well-being of the other person. It allows us to remember grace, and do it out of love instead of what I need from that person.
Give the easy way out
Gracious, humble correction makes the corrected person as noble and good as myself. I am not a jedi master of effective confrontation, but that is what I continue to aim for. I always try to correct while at the same time trying to remove all the shame and guilt that person is bound to feel when his eyes open to the situation. Because if I don’t give that person the easy way out, it will be easier for him to be defensive than to face the shame and guilt and let his eyes be opened.
Since I no longer need anything from him, I don’t want him to feel bad about what he did to me. I’d rather he learn not to do it any more. So I make sure he knows I am just as bad as he is, that I have messed up as bad as he has, and that I don’t hold this against him. I make a point of validating his value in spite of his actions and intentionally express my love as unconditional!
This is easy when I remember how I have experienced life. I, too, have been corrected, challenged, and confronted. And honestly, the most effective confrontations have been the ones where I was given the easy way out. They had no needs I needed to meet. They were mature enough to be able to just correct me graciously, trusting that God was at work in me too.
Grace over and over again
I am aware that not every strategy always works in every situation. Sometimes we can’t remove ourselves from the hurtful things someone does, and we do need them to stop that behaviour. Then I do need something from them. But I will still try to be all grace.
And honestly, sometimes the gracious conversations won’t change the person, and I still won’t lie down and keep taking it as if it is nothing. But I will keep forgiving AND keep having that gracious conversation over and over and over…
and over and over…
and over and over and over again. Until 70 times 7, at which point… I’ll have forgotten to count and will have to start from one again just to make sure I follow Jesus’ lead.
Ask wise friends for help
Sometimes though, we find it hard processing and letting go internally, then we need to ask wise friends for help. But forgiveness is required of us. It is not optional, and it is not dependant on our ability to resolve our feelings of hurt. Carrie Fischer says it like this:
[tweetthis]Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.[/tweetthis]
Living free is the growth that happens in us as we change our life perspectives. And feelings are only the reality when you are unaware of what they really are! They are mostly a warning system that notify you of your well-being. You don’t need to confront others to resolve your feelings most of the time. You can refuse to allow negative feelings the power to speak and replace them with the truth of a new perspective and the positive feelings will follow eventually.