Leaders lead, teach and train, and therefore need to confront and correct in love. This is uncomfortable and needs to be done in truth and sensitivity. Can you grow in this skill?
In this short video Kobus Meyer shares wisdom on how to confront people in a loving and truthful way.
1 Corinthians 1:2-13
2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing you are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you said, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Observation and reflection questions
- To whom was this letter written?
- Directly after naming the recipients, what does Paul do in this letter? [verse 3]
- We learn a lot about the congregation through Paul’s praise of them. What does Paul praise about this congregation?
- According to this portion of the letter, what is the reason Paul mentions for writing this letter? [hint: verses 10-13]
- In light of this stated purpose let’s re-evaluate the structure in the opening of the letter. Summarize the intent of each of the following portions and state why Paul does it, taking into account the sensitive nature of the letter.
- Verses 2
- Verse 3
- Verses 4-8
- Verse 9
- Verse 10-11
- Verse 12-13
- By starting the letter with affirmation, thanks and praise, how does it help in confronting errors within the congregation?
- Note Paul’s use of the question in the sensitive topic. What benefits does the use of a question have in confrontation over a statement? (verse 13)
Personal reflection and application
Paul was a skilled communicator who did not shy away from confrontation or conflict, but embraced the use of sincere affirmation, thanks and praise as well as questions aimed at introspection, calling for change.
- Why is conflict and confrontation necessary?
- How do you feel about confrontation and conflict?
- Consider someone you need to confront about something, or someone with whom you have regular conflicts.
- Reflect and write down what is good and praiseworthy about the person.
- Consider the pressing issue or last conflict situation. How can you address this matter in a non-confrontational question so that (a) you affirm the value of the person and your relationship and (b) your perspective of the situation?
Pray about your attitude regarding conflict, and ask God that you will be able to speak the truth in love and not fear to stand of for what is right.
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