Conflict Part 2: When to carefront

In the last post we compared carefronting with confronting. In this post we will look at when to carefront. There are three questions to consider.

Q1: Am I relying on God in this matter?
This is a yes-no question. We must face the reality that you and I can change no one. Only God can change people. Paul gives these instructions to Timothy in regards to carefronting. Remember this: God is the one who grants repentance. Also note the tone Paul prescribes for us.

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Maybe people hate conflict because we do not rely on God nor carefront out of kindness and patients. The power of carefronting is not in what we know. The power of carefronting is the Spirit.

Q2: One a scale of 1-5, how big of a deal is it?
“Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.” Seriously ask yourself how big of a deal is the matter of concern. If everything is a 5, please, lighten up! The Bible teaches us that love covers a multitude of sins. The Bible also teaches that there is a “sin not leading to death” where we can pray on someone’s behalf and God will forgive them. (1 John 5) Sometimes carefronting is about putting something to rest in your own mind.

In the last post we talked about seeds not Redwoods. The idea is dealing with something before it becomes a problem.  If the matter is a big deal, that it will cause friction in the relationship, then one should carefront appropriately and based on the next question.

Q3: One a scale of 1-5, how sure am I that I’m right?
Carefronting is about an attitude of humility. Seriously ask yourself if you are right about the matter of concern. If you always mark yourself as 5, please do a Bible study on humility! This question is to help determine when to carefront. It is not about how strong of a case you have. If you rank yourself as a 1, then be very cautious and light in how you carefront. If you’re a 5, be cautious as you may still be wrong.

Example:
When working at a day camp I saw two boys in a physical fight. While the process was quick in my head, here is how it played out.

Q1: Was I relying on God? Yes! As an adult God placed me in a position to help shepherd kids. Conflict is an opportunity for growth. Whether it happens or not is God’s deal.

Q2: Is it a big deal? 5! A physical fight is grounds for dismissal as it is inappropriate and not safe. It is clearly in the wrong and not an appropriate way to handle conflict by the two boys.

Q3: Am I right? 5! I saw the fight start. I am well aware of the rules of the camp, my role and how to appropriately handle conflict.

Outcome: Based on the three questions it was clear I needed to carefront them. The story turned out that they were friends and they often roughhoused. They were not fighting, they were playing. Were they shaken up because I carefronted them? No. I explain why in the next post.

Bottom line:
Gage whether or not you should carefront someone. Love puts up with a lot. There are times when it is clear the matter should be addressed. Remember, though, it is God who grants repentance.

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