Christian Living

"Your Problem Is . . .": A Biblical Approach to Confrontation

Some people in the body of Christ, at least in their own minds, seem to have the gift of confrontation. These are the folks most other Christians try to dodge. However, sometimes they sneak up on one of their brothers or sisters and utter those dreaded works. “May I speak with you for a minute?” Two questions immediately arise in the affronted brother’s mind: (1) What have I done this time? (2) Why is he confronting me when he has problems with … ? Usually, the issues these “gifted” people deal with are frivolous. On top of that, they often have issues they need to deal with themselves.

In spite of its bad connotations, Christian confrontation is commanded in Scripture. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word confront “to cause to face or meet; as, to confront one with the proofs of his wrongdoing.” In spite of Cain’s words, believers are “their brother’s keeper” (Gen. 4:9).

Galatians 6:1 defines Christian confrontation as the practice of Spirit-filled believers going to an erring brother in love and helping him to get right with God. We can use this verse to formulate a biblical model for Christian confrontation. The verse provides qualifications for the confronter, the purpose of confrontation, and the spirit of confrontation.


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“Miss Judgment’s” Misjudgment

I peered out the window as I heard a van pull up outside. I was curious about the other couples who were attending the Christian family conference over the weekend. As a woman emerged from a gray van, I gasped. “Honey,” I called to my husband who was putting away some of his things, “You won’t believe this woman outside! Her hair is buzzed, and she has a bald stripe shaved on the top of her head!” I kept looking out the window, wondering what kind of Christian woman would have a hairstyle like that. I imagined she was probably a feminist…or maybe a punk rocker. Either way, I knew I wouldn’t be making friends with her over the weekend. I let my eyes wander around the parking lot of the resort. I saw a kind-looking woman with long, curly red hair and another nice-looking person with shoulder-length blonde hair. I suspected I’d be making friends with some of the nicer-looking ladies I saw meandering around the premises. I couldn’t imagine how the bald-stripe woman fit into this conservative-looking group of people.

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Learning Things I’ve Preached, Part 2

Originally Posted on March 29, 2006

After my diagnosis one of the first questions I began to ask was, “Why is this happening to me?” For years I have encouraged my people, who have been surprised with a difficulty, that God has a purpose (Eph. 1:11) and would often list a few. I have been quite a bit more serious in searching the Scripture for those possibilities of late! And I have been amazed that the Lord often supplies us with His intention, when He has no obligation to do so. The information He gives leads to a relationship with Him (John 20:31, I John 5:13). We don’t need all the information to trust Him.

In affliction it is good to know that God has a purpose, though it is not necessary to know what it is. God does not always telegraph His goals for each trial. But it is necessary to know that Jesus alone gives value to suffering. The following is a list of possible purposes He has in our sickness. Note that I am addressing the common denominator of pain caused by several types of troubles. These afflictions may include sickness, financial problems, broken relationships, tribulations, trials, our own mistakes, “old age,” and even the consequences of our sins.

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Learning Things I’ve Preached, Part 1

Originally Posted on February 13, 2006

I don’t know how to introduce this man. He has been a mentor and a model for me as well as the best father-in-law a guy could ask for. He has been a pastor nearly all of his life and has been pastoring the folks at Whitworth Memorial Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee for over ten years. In the fall of 2005, he was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. I asked him to consider writing a series of articles for SI about the spiritual lessons learned with a thorn in the flesh like cancer. Today, you have the first in his series. -JPJ

I was relatively healthy for a sixty-year-old, so the diagnosis of Lymphoma cancer surprised me. This trial has accentuated God’s gracious work in me. He has taught me some new things, but primarily has italicized others I have known and preached for years. Those are the things I’ll be writing about.

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