I’m embarrassed to say that, at one time, I used to write all sorts of long confrontation letters as if I was the modern embodiment of the Apostle Paul. And if that was you … I’m soooooo sorry! (A single tear is falling from my left eye as I look off wistfully.) And after receiving hundreds of such letters confronting me, God changed my mind about letters.
Besides, people spend way too much time spewing and stewing over false assumptions when it comes to letters. That’s partly why the Bible commands us to communicate quickly when we’re frustrated with people (Mt.5:24; Heb.12:14-15).
But I am convinced true love will always prefer face-to-face when possible. And even when time or distance is unavoidable, a loving person will, at least, “believe the best” until a more functional form of communication can be used (1 Cor. 13:2-5).
Tip #(2) Don’t Confront People You Don’t Know.
In my book Pharisectomy, I talk about how our bodies are actually designed to reject truth from people we don’t know.
On issues of deep significance, it’s incredibly rare any of us will allow a virtual stranger to influence us. So why even bother to throw out snarky posts on Facebook? Your flesh may feel good, but, nine times out of 10, it will only reinforce their opposing opinion (true or not).
Tip #(3). If you Must Confront, it’s UnBiblical to Start Out in a Public Forum.
If you haven’t figured it out: Facebook and Twitter is the new version of the Jerry Springer show. You now have the ability to embarrass yourself 24 hours a day without Jerry Springer present.
But if you’re a believer and you have something to say to someone, the Bible is super clear.
A.) It must be done “gently” and with humility (Gal.6:1-5).
B.) You need to go to the source of the problem first before you involve others (Mt. 18:15)—while assuming the best (1 Cor. 13:7). Only after all of this has been exhausted should a person involve others (Mt. 18:16).
Finally: C.) “go public” with the grievance (v.17). Even then, the audience shouldn’t be a non-Christian audience (1 Cor.6:1). Besides “wisdom from heaven” (as opposed to hell) is “peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).
There was one occasion where I couldn’t resist posting my opinion on Facebook. But after doing so, I had a sad revelation: I had virtually killed my ability to influence that person. I may be right … but I was “dead-right.” I might as well have used Jerry Springer’s platform to rip them to shreds.
But, in a sick world that feeds off of public spectacles, wouldn’t it be refreshing to start a radical new trend of going straight to the person?