The Importance of Confrontation

Gary Bird

The Bible presents a critical lesson in the importance of confrontation, especially when someone is doing wrong. This lesson is particularly crucial for parents in addressing the actions of their children. Several in the Bible,  including King David, provide powerful examples of the dire consequences that can ensue from failing to confront wrongdoing.
King David, a man after God's own heart, was nonetheless not exempt from errors and shortcomings. His failures in confronting his children at crucial times led to disastrous outcomes. In II Samuel 13:21, when Amnon, David's son, raped his half-sister Tamar, David was "very wroth," yet there's no record of him directly confronting Amnon. This lack of confrontation fueled the bitterness of another son, Absalom, who ultimately murdered Amnon.
Furthermore, Absalom, after being banished, was allowed back into Jerusalem (II Samuel 14:28), yet David refused to meet him for two years. This lack of confrontation created a divide, resulting in Absalom's rebellion and subsequent death (II Samuel 15-18).
In I Kings 1:5-6, David's son, Adonijah, exalted himself, saying, "I will be king." David, although alive and not having named Adonijah his successor, did not confront him. This led to a potential succession crisis, which could only be resolved with the intervention of Prophet Nathan and Bathsheba, ensuring Solomon's rightful ascension.
Another Biblical figure, Eli the priest, is another parent who failed to correct his children. Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were "sons of Belial" (I Samuel 2:12), and "Eli...restrained them not" (I Samuel 3:13). God held Eli responsible for his sons' actions, leading to the downfall of Eli's house.
These narratives reinforce the necessity of confrontation, a concept echoed in other parts of the Bible. Proverbs 27:5 states, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." 
Similarly, in Ephesians 4:15, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to "speak the truth in love," emphasizing the need for direct, loving confrontation.
In Matthew 18:15, Jesus lays out a process for confronting a brother who sins against you, starting with a one-on-one discussion. If that fails, involve one or two others, and if all else fails, bring the matter before the church.
As believers, we must understand the importance of directly confronting wrongs, not in anger or malice, but in love and with a genuine desire for the well-being of the other person. 
The narratives of King David, Eli, and others serve as potent reminders that avoiding confrontation often leads to undesirable, even catastrophic consequences. In contrast, confronting in love and truth can lead to resolution, peace, and growth, as prescribed in the scriptures.

Gary Bird

Gary and his family are core members of our church. He assists with multiple ministries. He and his wife Jessica have five children.

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