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Saturday, November 16, 2013

When to Confront

You ever wonder when you should confront an issue?  I am facing that right now.  I am aware of some people who seem to have made choices that are sinful and damaging to their testimony as believers.  Matthew 18:15 – 20 tells me that if someone I know who is a brother sins I should confront them.
Are we supposed to confront sin in another's life when we see it?  Thoughts at DTTB.

Problem is I do not know these people that well.  There is a relationship but not a strong one.  So the question is how strong a relationship does one have to have before you confront sin in a person’s life?  In my experience it does not often go well no matter how developed the relationship.

What do you think?  Why do you think that?


  1. I have a hard time with this one because it seems to fly in the face of the passages that tell us not to point out the sliver in someone's eyes while ignoring the planks in our own *shrug* I usually keep my mouth shut, pray for them, and try to shine the light of God's love as best I can. If you point out this person's sin, they are likely to point out yours and that's not going to solve anything.

    1. Shay, right – it ain’t easy, or fun – at least it should not be. The challenge seems to be that both things are true. You are absolutely right, we are exhorted to make sure that we check ourselves before we engage. But we are also exhorted to engage. In addition to Christ’s command in Matthew 18:15 – 20Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) that we are responsible to engage – it is interesting that here Paul combines the spirit of Matthew 7:1 – 5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) with Matthew 18:15 – 20Open in Logos Bible Software (if available). Paul also tells us that we are to engage in 1 Corinthians 5:11 – 13Open in Logos Bible Software (if available).

      That does not make it easier. In my experience one of the reasons that we should take one or two people with us for the second step is to make sure that we are not out of line.

      In the 40 or so years I have been around various churches, none have done a very good – check that – anything about this. We all seem to park on Matthew 7:1 – 5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) and ignore Matthew 18:15 – 20Open in Logos Bible Software (if available). I agree that we have to be careful of our own motives, but it seems to me that we are weakening the Body’s testimony buy not dealing with issues as Christ commanded.

      The struggle I have personally is how much of a relationship I have to have in order to speak to stuff that will destroy someone I know.

    2. Not sure why reftag behaved the way it did above - sorry about that...

    3. I think the biggest problem is that most of the time people don't point out sin out of love. They do it to feel self-righteous and look down their noses at the person they are speaking to. I truly feel that if it is God's will that someone's sins be pointed out to them, the Holy Spirit will lead the one doing the pointing out in love and respect.

      And taking other people is rough and can backfire. I know that if several people came to me to tell me ways that I have failed God I'd feel ganged up on, shut down, and refuse to listen.

      The relationship should be one that has been founded on love and respect and a true adoration of God. That is the only way the relationship will survive if sins are brought to light.

      I think the thing to ask yourself before speaking to someone is this: How would I feel if someone (or several someones) confronted me about my sin? If your answer is to react in defense and anger, then you shouldn't be confronting anyone else. If you can honestly say that you would heed their words and hear them in the light of love, then it might be safer for you to speak to someone about their sins.