Monday, May 5, 2014

Altercations

Something occurred this weekend that got all my feathers ruffled. To boot that, I have been bombarded with confrontation over and over again in the last month. Don’t you just hate it when God consistently puts things in your path to grow?? I want to shout to the heavens….”Just tell me already what you want from me! What do you want me to learn? Can we just get it over with! Why-oh-why do I have to work so stinking hard for it? Can anything be easy?”

Here’s the question I pose to you. When do you confront someone and when to let it go? How do you lovingly approach confrontation? When is it appropriate to give grace and roll with it, and when do you rise to the conflict and face it head on?

In all my brewing around, I wanted to know how did Jesus tend to these issues?

Isn’t it funny how God is in the little, bitty, details? I just finished this chapter in bible study- “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18: 15-17

I loved that Jesus says, 1) Go address it, one on one. If it doesn’t work then 2) take someone with you. If that doesn’t work, then 3) take it to the church. Lastly, in the last part of the scripture, “let him be as a Gentile or tax collector”-Jesus LOVED Gentiles and tax collectors and gave them much grace.

In each situation, I try to do a gut check. Feel where the Holy Spirit is. Check myself. Am I completely in the wrong? If so, apologize and make it right. Am I in the right and the other person wrong? If so, then how should I proceed? Sometimes a confrontation is necessary, and other times not.

I’ve gathered this-there is no black and white answer. The Spirit is the only think I can rely on. I cannot rely on my emotions…for they will deceive me. I cannot rely on other’s opinions….for they will deceive me as well.

As I left Old Navy the other night, I saw a woman with four or five children. She grabbed her 18 month (or so) little girl and yanked her outside. She proceeded to spew profanity at her. Including beating the s*** out of her if she didn’t f***ing stop G** da** it. The little girl had taken her shoes off in the store.

I quickly walked to my car. And cried. Sobbed actually. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I prayed. This mom was of another ethnicity than myself, which I always worry that someone will look at me outsides (and not my heart) and judge that I am only a white, rich, woman. I sat and prayed. I got in my car to drive home, and made an immediate U turn. The holy spirit told me to go back and look for her. I was terrified. I thought…I’m going to end up on the news getting beaten up. Yet, I couldn’t find her.

I think the God wanted to see if I would move. I might argue with Him, but yes, I will move. There are no boundaries to how the Spirit can use you. You are a vessel at all times. In that moment, at first I sobbed over the child. I prayed that Jesus send His angels to her for protection. And then, my perspective shifted. I realized, I should be praying for the mom’s soul. How broken she must be. How tired and worn. How she needs grace so badly. I do not need to judge her. God reminded me that “indeed we all make mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” James 3:2 I’m figuring out confrontation, one day at a time, one interaction at a time. Wish me luck. I will need it.

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