“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT
None of us enjoy confronting others, but sometimes it must be done. So: be honest and direct. Tenderness is not a matter of being diplomatic or tactful, or using euphemistic language, or “beating around the bush” and softening the blow. Don’t do that. Weigh what needs to be said in clear and unmistakable terms, then lay it squarely on the line. If you love them, level with them! But a word of caution here: don’t use words like “love” and “transparency” to disguise a judgmental attitude. People get screamed at, chewed out and verbally abused in the name of love. Don’t vent your anger at someone in the name of honesty. Not one of us is qualified to confront the other until we have carefully examined our motivations for doing so—including, as much as humanly possible, those motives that evade our conscious minds. You should always confront with reluctance, never with eagerness. You should confront directly, yet gently, and always with a desire to bring about God’s best in the other person’s life. It is far more Christ-like to confront another person through tears than with a voice raised in anger. At all points, the listener should never be in doubt as to your love and acceptance. Genuine love says: “I’ve got something to tell you. I know this won’t be easy for either of us, but I respect you enough to give it to you straight. I care about you, I’m committed to our relationship, and I want you to be the best you can be.”
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