Every situation is unique and has a level of risk. These levels of risk vary and must be taken into consideration before we step out in addressing a situation. For some the risk may be extremely high due to being in an abusive relationship that may result in physical harm, homelessness, or financial loss. This is why it is important to seek the Lord regarding the timing, the words, and possible outcomes. Remember damage occurs inside when we do not confront but also damage can occur outside which involves our physical being and loss of essentials.
In one of my counseling sessions, a gentleman came into the session and sat down. At the time my chair was on the other side of room away from the door. He was close to the door and leaned forward in an awkward but rather challenging way. Before I started the session, he looked me straight in the eye and made this statement. “I have killed people before.” I knew he was setting the stage and giving me a warning. Fear gripped me and it was then that I realized that I could not get past him. Even though someone was outside the office, I had no way of letting them know what was happening inside my office space.
These types of situations involve strategic planning. First you must assess the level of danger you are in before confronting. Next the confrontation must be designed to help the person you are confronting receive whatever is necessary, so all danger is reduced. I had to let this person know that any threats were not going to influence my work. It was difficult but I manage to control how my body was reacting and decided to just listen. When I did not respond how he thought I would, he sat back, relaxed, and allowed me to direct the session. Of course, I was praying under my breath the entire time and I know the Lord protected me. We developed a good relationship in which he could share this aspect of his life that he actually hated.
Consider Nathan, a prophet, who confronted David, the king in 2 Samuel 7. The Lord comes to Nathan in the middle of the night and tells him to go to David to inform him that he will not be building God’s temple rather his son will build it. David was in the process of getting supplies he needed to build the temple. David accepted the word of the Lord through Nathan. Yet later in chapter 12, the Lord sends Nathan again to David to tell him a story. The story was meant to confront David about wrong decisions he made stemming from temptation.
It involved David desiring Bathsheba, a married woman and having her husband killed so he could have her. This story infuriated David and made a strong statement, ‘any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!”
Nathan was a servant to king David. He knew the risk of what he needed to say. This could have been a life-or-death situation. Yet Nathan did as the Lord commanded him and addressed David’s behavior, accused him of despising the word of the Lord, and informed him of the consequences of these actions. The risk for Nathan was high.
But the Lord had intervened, and David was convicted and confessed his sin before the Lord. Sadly, his son was taken from him. Difficult as this may be to understand, David was able to understand the consequences that resulted from his behavior.
He made this statement, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” He then comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and she later gave birth to Solomon, the son who God had planned to build his temple.
Loss occurred in this confrontation. The risk for Nathan was very high. So may it be in our situations. God told Nathan to tell a story. God may instruct us to use varying methods to get our point across. He knows exactly what is needed to reach the individual we need to confront. He knows the timing. He told Nathan when. He will tell us when as well. Seek the Lord for direction. He knows how to decrease the risk. Trust him for a godly response even when the person may be participating in ungodly behaviors. Have great faith that God will protect you, provide for you, and direct you even amid loss. Expect God to turn your situation around for good even though everything appears to be bad.
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