Mar 29, 2009

To Comfort or to Confront?

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.


Linda said...

This is a hard one Susie, and I struggle in the very same ways you've struggled. I'm not very good about confrontation at all, and yet I know that there are times when it is absolutely the right thing to do.
I keep thinking of the line in a Twila Paris song that has always meant so much to me (and I can't quote it exactly) - "You are a true friend - pointing me to Jesus".
I have always been encouraged and blessed by friends who have had the courage to simply point me to Jesus when I'm taking a wrong turn. Sometimes it takes a little time to get over our damaged pride and to realize it, but I believe in time we see what is right in God's eyes is just what we should do.
I pray your friend will "see" your heart in time and your friendship will be even better than it was before.

Julie Gillies said...

My heart goes out to you, Susie. But KNOWING you, I sincerely doubt that you stepped out of line. You have a heart of gold, girl!

We just have to understand that people can sometimes be overly-sensitive and/or defensive, so no matter how we phrase our words the response will be negative.

You just continue on encouraging women, Susie. God knows your heart. I think that given time, your "disaster" scenario may turn around.

DA Wagners said...

Thanks for the post. I hate confrontations. The Holy Spirit has to take me kicking and screaming to confront someone, and usually I must really love the person.

Tiffany said...

Susie, You just continue to doing what you do encourging women with love and prayer and kindness. You have done the right thing with both your friends and my heart goes out to both of them. You don't need to question your words or your love for your friends. God does know your heart. Love you dearly. I'm so glad I have you for a friend.

Susie said...

Thank you girls so much! Your friendship means the world to me, even though I see none of you on a day to day basis. May God bless each of you!

Darlene said...

Girl...keep encouraging women! We need all the help we can get. Get rid of the stinking thinking..that is what Satan is wanting to do is pull you down and make you insecure. Don't give in...Give God the Glory and KEEP PRESSING ON!!!
Praying for you...

Kathleen Marie said...

Praying for you for comfort. Sometimes it is just so hard to know what do to, when to talk, when to just pray... Thanks for sharing your heart ♥

Susanne said...

A dilemma for sure. Sometimes it's just so hard to know what to do. From reading your blog Susie, I know you have people's best at heart. Sometimes people just get very angry because it's hard to hear the truth and the bearer of the truth will recieve the brunt of it not matter who they are to the person. But God is a God who heals relationships. Praying that would be the case for you and your friend.

Melanie said...

Good insight.