After reading Mark Batterson's post this morning, I thought I needed to share something with anyone who may be struggling with this very question. Mark has some such wisdom so go check it out.
This is such a difficult area for me and I tend to fail miserably. I don't know if my Esther study is getting me a little ahead of myself in thinking I can make an impact, but I happened to experience a good and a bad response from confronting over the past two weeks. Both friends are facing pretty big issues in life, but one responding well, and the other not so well.
Trying to comfort is normally my motto. Just love the person, cry with them, help where you can, and stay out of giving your opinion. However, when that friend is close to you and you FEEL God may not be the center of their decision making, I feel confronting them is worth the try. Be careful with what you feel, feelings can be wrong.
First scenario, the friend did not want to hear what I said, but she listened and prayed about it. In the next few weeks, she thanked me. She acted on what was right and is confident that God will be there with her obedience. She knows I love God more than her and cannot disagree with the Word. I also love her bunches and want her to be happy despite it making waves sometimes.
Second scenario, a disaster. I've probably lost a friend and I am so wishing I would have never spoke my heart. Once your words are out there, they're out there. I am praying God blesses this friend and that I am completely wrong on what I spoke. I could have been gentler, less accusing, more compassionate, and more understanding. I should have just held my tongue and let someone else speak the truth. Sometimes a person that is too close to you, just needs you to love them.
My passion is encouraging women. I want them to be lovers of the Word, the best friend and encourager to their husbands, and to be content with the blessings God has given them. It is absolutely Satan's desire to take my passion away and to tell me I will never do this, or do this well. I have to trust that God is allowing things to not always go the way I want in helping my friends because he is trying to show me that it is not about ME. It is always about HIM working through me. It doesn't matter how hard I try and think I know what is right, it is only God who can be the true comforter and the one to ultimately confront in this world.