Kathy — God builds gates through a new thought, a new opportunity or a word of counsel. After wearing a path around your fence lines looking for answers, a new gate is a welcomed sight. One of my usual methods is to confront problems head-on until they are resolved. One day I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit say, “Kathy, confrontation is not always the best method for resolve.” That was not a “traditional thought” for me, and it gave me new direction. I could suddenly see the wisdom of not approaching a friend of mine and laying everything out verbally. Due to my friend’s temperament and personality, confrontation would be gas on their fire rather than water. That word from God became a gate into a whole new set of tools for resolving problems.
Do we overlook destructive behavior and negative emotional patterns that may sabotage a loved one or confront them? There is no pat answer. The place to start is prayer. One prayer I have seen God answer many times is, “Lord, please change them or change me so your peace can cover this relationship.” We can trust His wisdom and His faithfulness to address the problems in wise timing. What we cannot do with behavior or personality issues is fight fire with fire. Fighting negative behavior with negative behavior is using a carnal weapon that does not pull down strongholds. Nor will any good fruit come from confronting others out of frustration rather than love. While we should not presume to confront without God’s instruction, neither should we be too cowardly to talk it out if He so directs. We can be confident that the place to start is prayer. Then we follow God’s instructions and timing to a God-outcome of healthy and meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
(The last excerpt from Kathy’s article “Investing in Relationships” published in SEEC Magazine.)