Posts Tagged ‘confronting’

Learn to Speak Up

July 13, 2016

I am such a coward.

I have a certain talent for writing–at least that what people tell me. I appreciate the comments, especially from the ones who pay me to write.

Arguing is emotional. Sometimes emotions can run away from your control. Way over. It’s the way over that’s bad. Been there in my life. Once, a long time ago, I was quite argumentative. But it was always an emotional response. I don’t handle confrontation well. Always regretted it in the end.

I care about two things in the political realm (carries over into personal)–peace and justice. There was once a stream in the Democrat Party that was focused on peace and justice. Now, to me at least, it seems like they all are just out to see what they can get from the government. Different things for different people (whoever they think will vote for them, of course).

But, peace and justice come from within. If there are enough of us, then we’ll begin to see Shalom–that deep peace that we read about in the Bible.

Some of that starts from speaking up. In a forceful, but peaceful, way.

There have been many conversations I’ve witnessed over the past few months where I’ve heard some of the worst racial comments. And violent comments. Comments such as, “Maybe we would be better off to kill all the (name your hated group–gay people, people with different colored skin, people from different cultures).”

So far as I know, all the people would self-identify as Christian. Some were in church–that is a hint.

And, did I speak up as the lone dissenter and ask, “What would Jesus think of the state of your heart this moment?”

Jesus could stare down an angry group with rocks in their hands. And me? I whiffed.

Unfortunately, I’m sure there will be another time at bat.

Confronting People The Right Way

August 31, 2015

There was a meeting at church. Suddenly one woman spoke up aggressively. She was complaining about someone who evidently was in the worship band at one of the services.

She was upset about the person’s lifestyle. “He’s living in sin, and he knows it. And he needs to stop, or else stop coming here. And he’s even on the platform.”

She had confronted the person, but he did not change.

I was thinking about confrontations such as this over the weekend. Must have been a book I’ve been reading. But the story of this meeting returned. In full color. In my mind. With the harsh judgementalism.

And I wondered, just how did that confrontation go? I’m guessing it was not done in a gently and loving manner. Given that the meeting was some time after the confrontation, I’m also guessing that the confrontation had no effect.

People do need to be confronted at times. Addicts need someone to stop enabling them and tell them no and tell them where an AA meeting is. At a smaller scale, someone you know is about to make a bad decision. Giving your point of view can be helpful.

But there are ways to do it. 

The judgemental, angry, finger-in-the-face “you’re going to hell” confrontation will seldom have a desired effect.

I’ve found on the soccer pitch that watching my tone of voice as a referee helps immensely. When I lose my cool and shout something stupid, guess what, I don’t obtain a desired change from the person.

Saturday, I had a high school boy get too aggressive on a foul. I called the foul, checked the fouled player quickly for injury, then made a public, but quiet, gesture and word to the player. He nodded. He understood that I was trying to help him curb his aggressiveness a little so he could stay in the game.

It’s all in the approach. When to be gentle, when to be tough, when to be a little of both.

But I’ve never found the in-your-face method beneficial.

Works the same for evangelism.