August 23, 2021

Three Steps In Holy Confrontation


If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:15

Many organizations have formed to fight political, economic, and social injustice.  These are noble causes. Yet humans, in their fervor, succumb to a practice called “gatekeeping.” Gatekeeping occurs when we tell people, “If you’re interested in our cause, you need to agree 100% with the way we fight for the cause.” Have you ever thought, “I share your concern, but I can’t support your methods”?

In Bible times, believers were arguing about how to live as Christians.  The Apostle Paul wrote to them about, as he put it, “biting and devouring each other in their disagreements.” (Galatians 5:15). The Bible teaches us that we can learn to navigate confrontation on significant issues without devouring one another!

First, we must form opinions from fact, not conjecture or hearsay. Scripture says that the Holy Spirit guides us into truth (John 16:13) and teaches us to “walk by the Spirit.  This means that we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in the way we conduct ourselves, especially relative to others.

Next, we need to empathize with our potential adversaries. People are often protective of their positions because they’ve experienced pain related to an issue.

Finally, confront behavior rather than vilifying people. You can love someone and take issue with their ideas, but only when we recognize that confrontation isn’t the same as condemnation. Jesus confronted people He found in sin, but they didn’t question His love for them because His manner of confrontation never strayed into condemnation.  Yes, holy confrontation is possible.


Resource reading: Galatians 5:13-26