The unsafe conversation that may cost your friendship.
I’m a good person. Surely that’s enough for God?
The warning you don’t want to hear.
We need to talk about X. We can’t keep acting like nothing’s wrong.
The challenge you’d rather ignore.
I’m worried about your drinking.
Are things ok at home?
Hard words these. And it’s tempting to go in one of two ways;
1. Run from them. Retreat into the safety of silence.
If I say this, they’ll think I’m judging them. I’ll scare them off. It’ll mean rejection or a messy conversation I don’t think I can cope with. Best to just pray and hope they see there’s a problem.
2.Brandish them like weapons.
‘Straight-Talk’. Words delivered like bullets: no soft-pedalling or beating round the bush.
‘Brother. Here’s the issue in your life. You need to repent.’
Tell it like it is. You’ve done your Christian duty. Now walk away.
It’s loving to say the hard stuff. It’s hard to say it lovingly.
But we need to do both.
To challenge – and to stay.
The harder the word, the gentler and more compassionate we need to be.
We speak to those who struggle – as those who struggle ourselves and who also need to listen.