December 2021 Message from Pastor Blake

Confrontation for the Glory of God

I desire that Appleton Community Evangelical Free Church would be a church that is defined by confrontation, forgiveness, and peacemaking. This may sound odd because confrontation is a word that brings negative connotations. We don’t like to be  confronted because it normally means we have done something wrong. We have either sinned against someone or we got caught in sin.

I have been confronted many times by people and I have never felt comfortable during the confrontation. I also have not handled it very well. I get defensive and try to defend my words or actions. I feel hurt and lash out at the person who was confronting me. I feel ashamed and shut down during the confrontation.

In college a few friends and I went to Florida for spring break. I don’t remember what led up to the conversation, but I remember my friend confronting me with a question. He asked, “do you ever experience joy in your life?” That question pierced me because I knew that I lacked joy and contentment in my life. As a Christian I should have joy! It is part of the fruit of the Spirit. That one loving question caused me to repent and fight for joy in my life.

Looking back, I realize that these moments had a huge impact on my faith. The confrontation allowed me to confess my sin and turn to Jesus. They allowed me to grow as a Christian. I hope that you have faithful brothers and sister in Christ who can confront you. I also hope that you are a faithful brother or sister who is willing to confront others.  Confrontation should always be for the benefit of the other. It should lead to forgiveness, peace, and godliness.

     How to confront?

Bring glory to God – Ken Sande has helped me think through these things in my own life. Our goal should not be to get a pound of flesh when we are wronged but to bring someone to repentance. Our goal when caught in sin should not be to hide and make excuses but glorifying God through repentance. We should always ask ourselves a couple of questions. What does God want me to do? What does the Bible say about my lifestyle? How do I trust God during this?

Get the log out of my own eye (Matthew 7:3-5) It always good to humbly check ourselves before confronting others.

Gently restoring the other person (Gal. 6:1-2) The goal is always restoration. We hope the person repents of sin. We hope that the relationship will be made right. Galatian 6 has a great warning for us. Keep watch on yourself, lest you are tempted. We could very well be the one being confronted next time.

     When to confront?

When someone is in sin (Matthew 18:15-20) – This is not so much a verse on church discipline but more on confrontation and forgiveness. We can get a wise strategy for discipline, but the goal is restoration. This confrontation can happen when you witness sin or are sinned against by another person.

When you sinned against someone else (Matthew 5:23-24) – If you sinned against someone and you know it, you go to them. The ball is always in your court when there is a break in a relationship. You either confront when sinned against or your go to the person when you are the offending party.

     How to respond when confronted?

Listen to the person – they may notice something that we don’t see in our own life. Listen to them and then search your own heart to see if it is true. Thank them for pointing it out.

Ask Friends – You may disagree with the assessment. That is okay! Ask friends who will be real and honest with you to see if they see the same sin. Don’t go to people who will tell you what you want to hear. Go to people who will tell you the truth.

Repent of you sin – Go to God in prayer and thank him for his grace. Thank him that this sin has been brought to light so you can turn from it.

Thank the person who confronted you – it may seem hard in the moment, but confrontation is a gift from God.

We live in a fallen and broken world. We are still sinners who are enticed by our flesh. We will sin against other people. People will see us when we sin. The question is how we deal with a sin.  A healthy church is one that is quick to confront and restore others. It doesn’t allow sin to grow and fester because we sweep it under a rug hoping the problem goes away.  Sin that is  ignored creates division. Sin that is brought to light creates peace.

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