I hate confrontation. I hate defending myself.
However, there have been specific times in my life when God has told me He will fight for me; I need only to be still (Exodus 14:13-14), and other times when I have heard Him clearly that I need to confront in love.
One particular time that stands out occurred approximately a decade ago. There was a leader in our church that God was nudging me to talk to. I didn’t want to. I avoided it for weeks using the excuse I was still praying for confirmation. However, God loved me (and him) enough to keep inviting me to confront in love until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. After much prayer (and seeking godly counsel and prayer from those spiritually ahead of me), I called and asked for an appointment and then, feet dragging, went to have the dreaded conversation.
I’ll admit. It didn’t start out well. He was rushed, in a hurry, and wanted me to “get on with it.” However, I carefully chose my words, but used complete honesty, and said what I felt God wanted said. The conversation ended better than I could have expected. He apologized (which I didn’t go there for an apology – I went out of obedience), explained some things happening in his life, and I think God used that conversation as a wakeup call for him.
Except for the confronting part, it wasn’t a difficult conversation for me because I had no anger toward him. I had worked all that out with God ahead of time. I only went, as I said before, out of obedience to His nudging. I think it would have ended differently if I was harboring anger or unforgiveness and went with an agenda he had to fulfill for me to be satisfied.
Fast forward years later and once again, God nudged me that I needed to have a difficult conversation with someone in authority. This time, though, I was frustrated, and I questioned whether I was hearing God correctly or reacting out of negative emotions.
I sought godly counsel (asked my husband if this was something I should or shouldn’t do), prayed and asked God to allow me to pray with my prayer partner so I could have peace this was His leading and not me with ulterior motives. I hadn’t even finished that prayer and God hand-delivered my pastor to my gas pump who prayed with me on the spot! After that, I felt peace I was supposed to confront in love.
I covered the meeting in prayer up until it occurred, and then I started talking. The words that came out of my mouth were not what I had rehearsed. I said much more than I had planned … but the minute the other person responded to my “speech,” I knew God was completely in this conversation, the same way He had showed up years earlier.
Have you ever experienced a similar situation? Maybe you hate confrontation too, but after covering a “God nudge” with prayer and following through in obedience, you have seen God show up in ways that have His fingerprint all over them? I’d love to hear about your experience if you want to share in the comments below.
I still hate confrontation, conflict, and defending myself. However, I hate disobedience more … so when God invites me into a conversation, after I’m prayed up and have others praying with me, I’m willing to go where I don’t want to go knowing God will be there and do something amazing!
© Cheri Swalwell 2019