Confronting confrontation. (Part 1 of 3)

This week I’m doing a short series on the word confrontation.  The truth of the matter is that I’d rather have a pelvic exam than confront someone.  (Hello, TMI.)

You see, I struggle with the word confrontation.  I struggle with confrontations.  I struggle with being confronted.  Well, aren’t I just a party? This could be the people-pleaser in me, it could be that I’m a total weenie or perhaps a combination of both…but I struggle nonetheless. And, if you struggle with confronting confrontations, I just want you to know that you’re not alone my friend.

As I’ve investigated the lives of those that I admire most, I see that they not only confront, but confront in a timely manner.

Successful people confront and do so in a timely manner.

This makes perfect sense to me until I’m faced with a conflict that needs confronting.

I just want peace and somehow in my naivety, I think if I avoid the confrontation it’ll all just go away and the unicorns with prance in front of rainbow-filled waterfalls and I’ll enjoy the view all the more as I suck down an iced coffee.

Then I wake up to reality, still drink the iced coffee, and ask God for help to confront the confrontation.

Galatians 5:13, says that we’re to “serve one another in love…”.  I know God loves me because He confronts me on areas where I’m weak.  I think that’s what true friends do. I know my friends love me when they help me be the best me I can be.

If I saw a friend driving toward a cliff, and she didn’t see it, and I did and said nothing, what kind of friend would I really be?

I’m a results-oriented woman.  In the past five years when I look back and ponder four friends that God’s asked me to confront, or approach, if you like that word better – which I do, the results were not what I thought.  And, I promise that we’ll talk about “responding to the response” on the last day of our series.

Here’s a snapshot of four women that I have loved, in a most imperfect way, that I’ve approached with God’s help:

1.       I approached a friend, via email, about feeling like I’m walked on egg shells around her.  She’s an amazing woman that deeply loves the Lord.  She also had intense unresolved anger which would often bleed onto her husband and children…me too. I took the approach of how it made me feel, hoping to build into her family at a later time.  In her email back I received a, “Well, you’re just too sensitive” response.  Which she was absolutely correct. I am too sensitive and I promised that I would (and still am) working on that.  After a few emails back and forth, we couldn’t come to an acceptable agreement that fit both of us.  Result: Lost friendship.

2.        I approached a friend about a sin.  She “heard” me and agreed.  We continued to talk and be friends until I learned that she lied to me for months.  The betrayal stung. I confronted my feelings and put two boundaries on our relationship in the hopes to safeguard the friendship.  She retaliated on the one boundary and on the other, she kept violating.  Needless to say, we’re no longer friends.  Result: Lost friendship.

3.       I approached a friend about some decisions she was making because we gave each other permission to speak truth to one another.  I learned that she really didn’t want my opinion; she wanted me to validate her actions.  I couldn’t.  She quietly withdrew.  Result:  Injured friendship. We’re still connected and love one another but we’ve not recovered.

4.       I approached a friend about her being too intense in our relationship and that it freaked me out.  I told her that I love her but felt that there was too much pressure on the friendship and I wanted it to grow at God’s pace.  Result: She thanked me (what?!?!) and valued my feelings and feedback.  Our friendship is not just intact, it’s thriving and growing because we continue to support each other.

Confrontation.

Anyone else out there prefer a pelvic exam? What are your thoughts about confronting confrontation? What does God think about confronting confrontation?

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