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Hard Questions the Church is Asking (2 of 7)

March 3, 2010

How do I confront someone about their faith without offending them?

I’m going to attempt to answer this question with one HUGE assumption – we aren’t dealing with a sin issue. Matthew 18:16-20 teaches how to handle confronting sin. I’m going to take a different route in dealing with the difficulty of challenging someone to grow in their faith.

There are some helpful steps that can focus the attention on the truth, and stay away from us. First, ask if you are the best person to speak truth to them. The truth is too important to waste if they will not hear it from you. Let me say it again, the truth is too important to waste. Sometimes it is best to let someone closer, or someone that they trust more to speak to them.

Next, make sure that this area you are going to speak about is not a weakness in your own journey. It is not about being perfect. It is about being self aware and knowing that you can speak with some sense of authority on the specific issue. If you challenge someone about their inconsistent attendance at Northside, and you are equally sporadic, don’t expect them to respond positively.

Lastly, ask yourself if you truly care about their response. If you are not willing to stick with them and help them by offering on-going encouragement and support, then wait until you can be more helpful. You need to be willing to offer more than just an accurate critique on their faith. You should also offer some practical application and then follow up. From my side of the fence, I am far more willing to listen (and am less offended) when I see that someone has cared enough to sacrifice their time to help me grow.

I have this quote in my office as a daily reminder: People are NOT loved when we build truth but never communicate truth. Too many people are not willing to risk speaking the truth, and in the meantime, lives are self-destructing. It is time that we all grow up and challenge others to do the same. It is risky, but it is the only way we will become the people God is calling us to be.

Zach

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March 3, 2010 Posted by | Zach | | 1 Comment