Speaking the Truth in Love

One of the hardest things to do is confront someone who hurt you. We’d often rather bear the pain of injury rather than confront the one who caused it. We don’t want the relationship to get worse. What if they retaliate for confronting them? What if they have no idea they even hurt me? What if I’m over-exaggerating everything in my head? Despite the peril these kinds of conversations can hold, we still need to have them.

You’ve probably never thought that confrontation was Godly, but it is. Scripture is filled with God confronting us with our sin, with how we’ve hurt him, and his attempts to restore the relationship. God often allows or even sets consequences for our failure in the relationship. But there is a big difference between why he confronts and what we reserve it for.

Who do you need to confront but are afraid to?

When confronting someone, it matters how much we truly care about them in the process. Are just trying to take care of ourselves, or are we exposing a weakness in the other that needs addressing? Are we willing to be an agent of healing? Not only do we pay the price of what they did to hurt us, we go a step further to heal the wound they already carry in them. Because that’s what Jesus did on the cross- he held his pain and our consequence at the same time.

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. (2 Cor 7:10)

If we love people, we have to confront them. That will hurt them, but hopefully only for a short time. The message we want them to hear is that we love them. We tell them our pain, we draw the boundary; explain that what they did is not okay because we love them. Because they matter. Because we can’t be close to them in the presence of that hurt and disconnection. And that’s the heart of relationship- to know you matter. There’s no greater reason to face shame, pain, and discomfort than for one you love and/or who loves you.

May you love the one who hurt you, forgive them, confront them, and seek to restore the relationship. Their brokenness hurt you, but you could be an agent of healing in the very place they, and you, are hurt.

Aron Strong, LMFT, was a pastor for more than a decade before transitioning to professional counseling. He is the director of Pathways Counseling in Murfreesboro and writes daily devotionals at www.biblebreakfast.club. He has been married for nearly 20 years, has a young son, two dogs and two cats.