Approaching the approach. (Part 2 of 3)

How do I approach someone to enter into a difficult conversation?

God used a time when Cal was so mad that he said, “I’m all steamed up!” to teach me through this visual.  After I take a hot shower and go to tame my mane, I can’t see my own reflection because like Cal was that day, it’s all steamed up. It’s not until I wipe the mirror two or three times can I truly see an accurate visual of my reflection.

If you find yourself angry and all steamed up, I want to ask you to wait for a period of time (not forever!) before you approach your friend. When you’re all steamed up, you can’t see things clearly and it could make a mess out of things.

As you’re approaching your approach, consider some things:

1. How will you feel about what you said after the conversation’s done?

Romans 12:9-10 says, “Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good.  Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.”

I have two major regrets from when I approached my friend in scenario #2 (from last post).  My first regret is that I waited far. too. long.  I knew this conversation had to be face to face and I delayed for a long time because I was a chicken butt.   :chicken2: My second major regret is that I got very loud in volume and exceptionally wordy, which I tend to do when I’m nervous.  Loud in volume is translated as disrespect.  I regret being so loud and disrespectful.

2. More importantly, what will God think about how you behaved/handled things?

Psalm 33:13-15, “From heaven the Lord looks down and sees everyone. From his throne he watches all those who live on the earth. He creates the hearts of all people.  He is aware of everything they do.”

The truth is that God’s watching.  I’m not writing this to creep you out or make you think GOD IS WATCHING and WAITING TO ZAP YOU IN THE BEHIND WITH A LIGHTNING BOLT.  I mean, God’s watching and cares about two people in your conversation.  If one of you is playing the part of the fool, they’re not really getting away with it because like I said, God’s watching.  So don’t be the one to play the part of the fool, cool?!?  8-)

3.  If God’s asked you to approach your friend and you don’t…disobedience, aka: SIN, separates us from God. And that’s no good.

What else can I say here?

Some other tips that have been shared with me that have helped me “woman-up” and warm up to approaching the approach:

  • Forgive quickly. Realize my part in the deal, own it and ask for forgiveness. (Yes, even if the other person was WAY MORE WRONG!)
  • Refrain from using “always” or “never” as they’re pretty caustic.
  • Consider saying, “I feel…” instead of “You always…”
  • Pray before and if necessary, during your conversation.
  • Don’t pile on. Go in with no more than 3 things.  If something comes up to distract the conversation, don’t build on and on – stay focused on the main point or points.  Any more than 3, might feel like a pile on.  Ask God which are the prioritized top three.
  • Don’t do it alone. Ask God for a friend to bounce some ideas off of. Use wisdom and pray about who that person should be.  In all four of the confrontations, I asked the Finskter and another friend for help because I needed it.

Before I leave you today, I want to ask you to read 2 Timothy 2:22-26, “Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.”

As you and I approach, let’s keep in mind that God gave most of us two ears, two eyes and only one mouth.  We’re to listen more, look/watch more and talk less.  Take it from high-word-count-Steph. I know… :-/

What’s one thing that 2 Timothy 2:?22-26 showed you?   What’s a tip to help us in our approach?

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