Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Respectful Confrontation

I received a personal note from a dear friend of mine earlier this week.  He's a passionate pastor whom I respect tremendously.  He was concerned about something I had done and was, in love, exhorting me.  I have a special relationship with him – he’s like a father to me – so I knew his message was important and I respect and trust his opinion.  I took it seriously.  I had a lump in my throat as I read his note and my heart was racing when I realized his level of concern.

For the past week or so I’d been talking about how excited I was about a book I'd read coming out as a motion picture.  I loved the book when I read it many years ago, and I was looking forward to seeing the movie.  His concern was that I was promoting a movie that did not receive very good reviews on many Christian sites, including Plugged In Movie Review.   He said my personal choice to watch the movie may cause someone to stumble because there are some things in the movie that are highly inappropriate. 

Although the movie, in my opinion, does not promote sinful behavior, it does show it because, I believe, the writer wants to show that no matter how far away you think you are from God, He will pursue you, He will forgive you and He will love you right where you are. But some people may not see it that way, and those are the folks who could be offended or misled.  So I took down my comments I posted about the movie and decided it wasn’t worth hurting my witness or misleading anyone in order to share a personal thought about a movie or book.  I would be horrified if anyone was led astray or confused because of something I recommended.

He was absolutely right.   I found myself in tears because I felt so blessed that a friend of mine would risk me being offended or taking this the wrong way because he knew I needed to know.  He was willing to go all out for me.  He was willing to walk away from our friendship for the sake of my witness, if needed.  Wow.  I called him and, in tears, thanked him for his bold, respectful confrontation. I was so into my own thoughts and personal feelings about the movie that I missed the bigger picture.  His words helped me to see a new perspective.  It's rare we find friends who are so willing to risk so much for our good.

What I would like to ask you is: Has anyone confronted you about sin in your life or a possible wrong choice?  If so, how did you respond?  Do you realize the deep love that person felt for you when they mustered up the courage to confront you, in love, about it? 

It’s so hard to be confronted about something that may be wrong in your life.  I’ve had anonymous critics who I don’t take seriously at all because I don’t know them personally nor do I have a relationship with them.  Those confrontations are usually cruel, judgmental and the person is not concerned about me or my witness, but more concerned about bashing me and being "right"- usually publicly.  But then there are those whom I know personally and respect.  They are the ones who do care.  The ones who love me deeply and help me see a new perspective.  They come to me personally, not publicly.  They don't want to "be right", they want to "make right".  How incredibly blessed I am that those people are bold enough to speak truth into my life.

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