Speak Up and Grow Up in Him!
by Deb DeArmond
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:15, NASB
Silence can speak volumes. Quiet in the house is not an assurance of peace. And it’s not the way Jesus dealt with relationships He valued. My favorite example is found in John 21:15-17.
Jesus appeared to several of the disciples after His resurrection. He approached Peter on the beach as the fisherman returned to the shore. He asked, “Peter, do you love me?”
Peter’s response, “Yes, Lord. You know I do.”
Jesus replied,” Then feed my sheep.”
He asked the exact same question not once or twice, but three times. The Bible said Peter was grieved by the insistent question, hurt by the interrogation. What was the point? Jesus confronted Peter because He loved him, and the relationship was important to Him. He confronted Peter to restore the connection. He did it to restore him to the call of “feed my sheep.”
The goal of confrontation is to connect. To ensure a healthy outcome, the language of confrontation must be love. Healthy confrontation requires valor, otherwise known as courage, bravery, or audacious boldness.
What’s that look like? Here are three opportunities to bravely step into healthier, more intimate relationships by confronting the issues that desire to discourage or damage you.
- Examine your heart first. The flaws in others are easy to see; tougher to see the cracks in our own facade. Do you have to have the final word? Are you quick to point out other’s shortcomings, but don’t see your own? Do you nurse a grudge like a baby at the breast?
- Speak up. Bravely say what needs to be said—speak the truth in love. Despite your belief to the contrary, others can’t read your mind. One woman told me she was stunned when her husband presented her with a list of grievances, compiled over 20 years, but never shared. Wake-up call!
- Confront courageously. Confront the issue, not the person. Be aware of your tone, timing, and the words you choose. “I’d like to talk about what happened last night at Bible study. I was embarrassed when you . . .” Describe the behavior to address the issue, rather than attack the person.
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. Her new book Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes is a humor-tinged devotional for the busy believer seeking deep truths with a chuckle on the side. http://www.debdearmond.com