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Love=Confrontation?

14 Mar

Seriously?
Here we are with another seeming contradiction!
Isn’t confrontation ugly, “in-your-face”, loud, something to stay away from?

It wasn’t in Mark 10:17-19.
What does Jesus show us about love and confrontation?

  • Jesus was gentle. He didn’t start with confrontation. In v. 17-20 He met a man who came running to Him asking questions. He answered those questions.
  • Jesus recognized the greater need. In v. 20 the guy was still hanging around. Jesus knew the guy wanted more. Enter verse 21 – WOW!
This is where scripture just jumped off the page for me. (Oh I love that!)
I’ve heard this story lots of times before, but as I read it this time, the phrase
Then Jesus looking at him, LOVED HIM, and said…” leaped up at me.
  • Jesus was willing to confront because he LOVED this guy. And the guy was a stranger.
  • Jesus confronted regardless of the outcome. The guy was sad at what Jesus said and went away sorrowful. Doesn’t appear in this passage that the confrontation produced change, but that didn’t stop Jesus from having a hard, honest conversation with this rich young ruler.

We’re trying to teach our boys this principle of being willing to have hard, honest conversations with others, but with gentleness and love. Our oldest has had a few chances to practice this (although, I have to say, I’m amazed at how quickly things get “talked” out. I’m not sure they should really be classified as “conversations”! In fact, one time the other mom & I spent more time talking about how the boys didn’t talk very long than they did actually talking things out!! 🙂

In today’s politically correct society, I believe we have gotten to the point where we think the loving thing to do is not to offend. Jesus showed us something different in Mark. He did not intentionally try to offend the rich young ruler, but he didn’t shy away from telling the truth and confronting the guy at his point of need. God brought that home to me a few years ago. My friend and I had talked about God a lot, but I wasn’t sure if she truly had a relationship with Him. Then I was afraid of offending her by asking if she did. God convicted me that even if she were offended, that was better than the alternative of spending eternity separated from God! Sometimes our willingness to confront someone actually demonstrates the greatest love for them.
Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
We can’t do much sharpening of each other if we’re afraid of the sparks.
Love is willing to confront the way Jesus did.
Do you have any hard conversations you need to have? Pray up, then speak the truth in love!
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5 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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5 responses to “Love=Confrontation?

  1. momentumofjoy

    March 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I love that you are saying these things. They are wonderful. I hear a lot of people “fighting to get their point across” and I have to stop myself from saying to them “do you really think you are getting your point across if you are fighting about it?” Wonderful entry!

     
  2. hsingunscripted

    March 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Wow – I NEEDED to hear this! I have really been struggling lately with wanting to talk to people about their relationship with God – and whether or not they know that Jesus is the only way, but I haven’t wanted to offend anyone either.

    This all came up for me because a dear man that works in our grocery store died unexpectedly from a heart attack, and I just keep thinking of how many times a week I saw him and yet I have NO IDEA whether he was saved or not 😦 I didn’t do my job and I want to make sure that I do it in the future!

     
    • Michelle Eichner

      March 15, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Gidget, thanks so much for sharing! The neat thing is, I was going to post something else, but this passage has been sitting in my mind and I just couldn’t get away from those thoughts. God knew (as always!) I will pray you have a purposeful day today. I really appreciate your sharing. God Bless You! Give yourself a hug from ME 🙂

       
  3. Joan

    March 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Wow – this post really hit home with me. I too have often shied away from sharing the gospel for fear of offending someone.

    Thank you for sharing this.

     
    • Michelle Eichner

      March 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

      I appreciate your sharing and encouragement, Joan! Blessings to you today.

       

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