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Should Christians Confront?

by Annagail Lynes  
5/18/2008 / Christian Living

When should you confront? Most Believers, who are living the Christian life, are taught that they are to be meek and mild all the time like Ned Flanders on the Simpsons.

Let's say you are that way with your daughter. You find drugs under her bed. You go to her and say, "I found these drugs in your room. Your Dad and I would prefer you wouldn't do drugs, but the choice is yours. Whatever you decide, we will stand behind you."

Then fourteen years later, you wonder why your daughter is a prostitute on the streets, trying to make enough money to score a hit...or worse, she's dead of an overdose.

Drugs are not something to play around with. They kill just as much as a loaded gun.

You have to confront. I know that is not the nice, sweet, so-called Christian answer, but it is the truth.

Did you ever see Jesus coward down? No. When the Pharisees tried to trap Him by bringing the adulterous woman to Him, He told them, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

When the money-changers bought and sold in the temple, a holy anger came on Jesus, and He turned the tables over and chased them out with a whip.

Time after time, you see Jesus confronting people from the temple leaders to the Pharisees to His own disciples.

The difference between Jesus and humans is that He knew when to confront. People either confront too much or too little. As a result, things become chaotic in their lives, homes and families.

Let's say your friend's husband is cheating on her. Do you tell her? Shouldn't you tell her what you know even if it might hurt her?

Even when it comes to the law, if you know something about a crime and don't come forward, you can be charged as an accessory to the crime.

If a crime has been committed, someone has been hurt financially, physically or mentally, because there are no victimless crimes.

God shows mercy to those who don't deserve it, such as the adulterer, the murder, the armed robber, all of the human race. And you should extend the same courtesy, yes, but there is a time to extend mercy and a time to confront. The question is which is which.

If a person is hurting himself by excessive drinking, doing drugs, being promiscuous, then you could confront. If a person is hurting others by being a bully, being offensive, lying, you should confront. If anyone will be hurt, I believe a confrontation is necessary.

Is someone going to be hurt if you don't tell your friend that her boyfriend is cheating on her? Yes, your friend if she finds out. You, if she finds out you knew and didn't tell her.

If a person has an erroneous teaching that he are preaching, I believe a confrontation is in order if the person has a large following. Not only will his followers be affected but their children as well because the followers will pass the teachings down to the next generation.

This is where people start denominations that don't believe in speaking in tongues, healing or the total prosperity of God.

What about minor offenses? Like not putting socks away? Or leaving them on the floor? In life you have to pick your battles, and if you are going to confront over every little thing, you are going to wear yourself and the people around you out.

Jesus didn't go around seeking people to confront. Instead He waited for them to come to Him and make the first move.

His confrontations always sought to further the knowledge of the Kingdom of God and to cause them to look within themselves.

No, He didn't go to the temple seeking to annoy or fire up the Pharisees. He didn't say one morning when He awoke, "I think I will confront the Pharisees today."

No, He waited for them to say something to Him.

Now there is a right and wrong way to confront. How should you confront others?

First of all, let's look at Jesus when He confronted Peter on many occasions and the other disciples. Did He make a big display out of their mistakes? Did He say, "Hey, all you disciples, listen to the mistake Peter made?"

No, He rebuked Peter firmly but gently, then let it go. There was no mention of the mistake again.

I don't know about your mother, but whenever mine is mad at me, she lists all the things I have done wrong in her sight since I was born.

Jesus isn't like that. He took all the punishment and judgment for every sin and mistake you can make on the cross. It is finished...and He remembers them no more.

And that is how you should be when you confront someone. You shouldn't make a big deal of it and parade their mistakes in front of others.

You can confront them privately, if possible, not giving eavesdroppers the opportunity to gossip. You need to confront them gently but firmly, as Jesus did, then you should forgive the person, let it go and never bring it up again.

If it is a situation, such as drugs or drinking, you should confront the person with others, who love and respect him, and you should have several treatment options available to him.

If he is old enough (eighteen or over), you might say that his living in this house is contingent on him staying clean and sober. If he doesn't agree, although you will still love him, you must do what is best for your family and put him out.

Love, although it covers a multitude of sins, requires Believers to confront and tell the truth when necessary. Love doesn't just it back and watch another fall without trying to help them, without attempting to offer them a lifeline.

If they refuse your help, continue to pray for them because God can succeed where you fail.

If someone is hurting themselves or others, it is time to confront. If they are doing things that are contrary to the Word, confront, but don't make a public display of it. Don't make it a spectator event. Do it privately and gently, yet firmly. When all has been done, pray.

God sees your tears as well as the other person's and He, of all people, knows how to fix the places in our lives that are crooked. He alone knows and understands everything. You must trust the other person to Him and know He will make everything turn around for good.

Annagail Lynes is a pharmacy technician, certified life coach and ordained minister. She is helping people move forward after trauma by helping them discover their purpose. Follow her blog at

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