Skip to main content

Safety First! Using Well Chosen Words

I have been asked by a couple folks what has prompted my post on biblical confrontation. I guess it's a fair question but not one I can answer with the details I think folks are hoping for. As I said before, what really spun my wheels is not my story to tell. There's been more than one incident that prompted the post.

As a biblical counselor it's my privilege to know things about people that they might not share with everyone. Biblical counselors do not hold to the world's idea of confidentiality, but we do hold to God's. What I mean by that is I have had more than one occasion to share what I have been told by someone seeking my counsel to an appropriate person, more than likely their pastor or a person in authority. This has never been a surprise to my counselee- they get full disclosure on what level of confidentiality they can expect from me. Additionally, they get the first opportunity to tell the person or to have me with them as support when they tell the person. What they don't have is a worry that I will make their business public.

Ever have someone share something you told them? Ever have it get back to you and felt the sting of betrayal? It doesn't have to be about something tender to you, just the idea that what you said was talked about... your story was told by someone else... it's not a good feeling. It makes you wonder if you can trust them with something that is tender for you. I try very hard to make my boundaries known so people can feel safe with me.

Safety. I don't know why but I have always been wired to consider safety. My family calls me "Auntie 9-1-1." For the last couple of weeks I let my blog reading slip. It started because I had my sister here with me and then I read a couple of things that made me think that I might want to knock some heads together. I get pretty annoyed that Christians can't seem to dialog without things turning nasty. We should be the safest people on the planet, we believers. That's hardly the case.

I understand that we all want to have our thoughts and actions affirmed. We get off on hearing the chorus of 'amen!' and 'way to go!' It stings like heck to have someone you see as an ally set their jaw and tell you they think you're wrong. It wouldn't be so bad if they just said, "I think you're wrong." Instead we all have the tendency to drive home the point about how wrong we think they are by using adjectives like: stupid; dumb; moronic; idiotic; juvenile etc. Then we justify use of inflammatory words by saying things like: "it's in the bible!" As if we, in our sinfulness, can use words with the same precision as God in His holiness.

Let me confess right here and right now. I am guilty of this same thing. I am not giving myself a free pass.

So, what do we do? How do we confront people when we think they are wrong? In humility and love we should agonize about the words we use. How should we respond when we are confronted? In humility and love, even when the words used in the confrontation are harsh and inflammatory. Better to let our Heavenly Father deal with their heart for using harsh words than He should deal with our hearts for receiving correction with bitterness. The same is true when we correct gently and it is received with hostility.

Not every correction has merit. If someone confronts you and they are in error, you still need to respond in a humble and gentle fashion. Ignoring someone who is offering correction isn't a response. It doesn't solve anything. It keeps the layers of offense building by causing bitterness on one side and the idea that the correction was accurate and/or you are unrepentant or hostile on the other.

God in His mercy continues to have relationship with us, even when we're wrong and adamantly so! He is our model for extending mercy to one another.

Proverbs 10:19-21
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is {as} choice silver, the heart of the wicked is {worth} little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

Ecclesiastes 5:7
7 For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Ecclesiastes 6:11
11 For there are many words which increase futility. What {then} is the advantage to a man?




Psalm 37:8
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, {it leads} only to evildoing.

James 1:19-20
19 {This} you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak {and} slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind, {and} is not jealous; love does not brag {and} is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong {suffered,}
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Timothy 2:8
8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

Proverbs 25:11
11 {Like} apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.
(NAS)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Procrastination- Propaganda- Profundity

When I am studying something that bothers me, I do just about anything I can to stall. In doing so I stumble upon a lot of odd information. I love history and any student of history will tell you that most everything we are familiar with has had an odd beginning. Sometimes there will be different odd stories regarding the genesis of a myth, folkway or idiom. Somewhere in the mix the truth can be found. You just have to look.

While I lived in Australia I went to a visit a little town on the Murray River called Echuca. Echuca has a wonderful history and boasts the largest collection of paddle steamers in the world. It also has a coach house and carriage museum. It was during my visit to the carriage museum that I was told the origin of the expression to 'drop off to sleep.' According the docent, the carriage cheap seats were the ones outside and on the back. You had a platform to sit on and a rope or rail to hang onto for dear life. During a long trip a poor unfortun…

Sleep Snorkel Surprise

Summer colds. Blech! Is there anything more annoying that being too hot and having your nose run like Bridalveil Fall? Probably but nothing comes to mind right now. My nose is red and raw from all the sneezing and blowing and I have been using Puff's. Imagine if I had some generic sandpaper tissue instead? I could probably die from the pain. Death by runny nose rough tissue rhinoplasty.
I went to bed very early last night because I was feeling miserable. I have sleep apnea and therefore sleep with a bipap machine that keeps from crumping in my sleep. Now, I love my little bipap machine. I got it after my near death experience a few years ago when the nurses in the ICU turned me in to the doctor because I never slept. Once I was released from the hospital they sent me for a sleep study. I had to do it twice because they wait for you to fall to sleep and monitor your breathing in order to decide if you need a machine. Generally they try different types of machines and differe…

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder FAS/FASD and the Need for Biblical Counseling Material

On January 31, 2008, I wrote a post on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FAS/FASD).  That was nearly six years ago. A lot has happened in our world during those six years. I honestly expected to find some biblical counseling information on FAS/FASD.  Unfortunately, among those who are foremost in providing resources for biblical counselors; those who publish scholarly articles in the Journal of Biblical Counseling; provide resources for NANC, and write books that help us look at the problems in our lives through a biblical lens,  there has yet to be an article, sermon or book written specifically on how to help someone with FAS/FASD.  I am hoping using their information will lead them to this article and they will consider changing this. We need material on FAS/FASD from a biblical perspective.

Recently I have been contacted by a couple of different people who stumbled upon my blog looking for biblical counseling resources specific to parenting children with…