Confrontation moderated by Faith by Deon Crafford
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Being confronted by people and situations is our daily portion. No matter what we do or where we go chances are that we will run into someone or something that is misaligned with our aims and desires or that wishes to challenge or oppose us. It happens in relationships of all kinds – family, work, social life – yes even in our relationship with the environment e.g. storms. In all of these situations we have the options of freezing, fighting or fleeing and often the route we choose is instinctive. But there are situations in which we’re afforded the opportunity of choice and where what we choose challenges the convictions of our faith. All three these options are appropriate for specific situations, but all of them can also lead to destructive results if used out of place. Fleeing when confronted by a lion for example is almost guaranteed to lead to a poor result at best. Yet not retreating from a situation where confronted by a Black Mamba may again lead to a poor result. Fighting when clearly overpowered e.g. by armed robbers, is also not a good idea. So yes even freezing sometimes is the best response to confrontation.
Fighting solely for one’s own objectives and desires often results in an intensification of the confrontation and yet there are times, as even Jesus did when he cleaned out the temple from commercial opportunists, that it is right to stand up and stiffen one’s back. Mostly though this shall be in the defence of something or someone that is held high in value or that cannot speak for or defend him/herself. Using the flight option is good when the outcome of a fighting position will cause a situation to be more destructive than what it was before. And so we have learnt that sometimes it pays just to withhold any response or retort for the sake of keeping good peace, thus devaluing an outcome in favour of oneself. When we have the time to decide how we will deal with a confrontation, we also have a fourth option available to us – the option of Faith.
When we choose the option to follow Faith, we immediately open ourselves up to the guidance and intervention of the Holy Spirit. I for one can attest to a number of situations in my life where I intervened in a confrontational situation perhaps counter to my default personality, but because I submitted that situation and my conduct to the Holy Spirit. There is no weakness in turning to the Spirit, because when we do we turn to power. We access options, words, responses and encouragements that would have not resided within us were we on our own in these situations. And while these responses may sometimes feel weak and feeble, the outcomes are normally very powerful. Confront then confrontation through Faith.
Love to all