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CONFRONTING WITH LOVE – PART 3

 

“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT

A good mentor will: (1) Affirm in public, correct in private. Your goal should be to help, not hurt. When you rebuke someone in public you humiliate them, destroying their self-esteem. But when you affirm them in public you build their self-esteem, confidence and incentive. Of course, your praise should be genuine, not just empty words. By affirming sincerely and publicly, you plant the seeds of growth and greatness in the learner. (2) Build an allegiance to relationships, not issues. We tend to build an allegiance either to relationships, or to issues. We become primarily concerned about other people, their feelings, and the relationship, or we become focused on rules, agendas, quotas, tasks and results. A good mentor always puts relationships ahead of issues. In his book Mentoring: The Strategy of the Master, Ron Lee Davis writes: “My father was that kind of mentor, both in his own family and in the church he pastored for twenty-five years. Many times I heard him say, ‘The individual is always more important than the issue.’ He lived this principle daily and he built it into my life. Today, I try to pass on this principle to others.” God has called each of us to run our race and finish it successfully. He has also called us to keep the torch lit and hand it off to the next runner. Don’t merely be satisfied with doing the job, make sure the job keeps getting done by teaching and training someone else. Jesus, the Master-mentor, said: “The works that I do shall [you] do also; and greater works than these shall [you] do” (Jn 14:12).

CONFRONTING WITH LOVE – PART 2

 

“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT

When you confront somebody: (1) Be specific, don’t generalize. For example, don’t say, “You’re always abrupt and unfriendly.” Be specific. Instead say, “You were rather abrupt with Mrs. Jones yesterday.” Generalizations sound and feel like an attack on who the person is, instead of constructive reproof on what the person does. Plus, the vagueness of such generalizations doesn’t give the learner a clue what he or she should do to grow and change. (2) Show empathy. An effective mentor always tries to put themselves in the learner’s place. Novelist John Erskine observed, “We have not really budged a step, until we’ve taken up residence in someone else’s point of view.” Assure them that you’re their advocate, not their adversary, and that your only desire is to see them succeed. Why do people have such a hard time accepting and processing criticism? Because they get caught up in a shame spiral, going all the way back to their childhood. They never felt valued, they felt like they were always being criticized and told how useless and stupid they were, and now they instinctively give too much power to criticism. Only when you understand that will you be able to approach them the right way. Build on their strengths, gifts and character through encouragement. Earn the right to confront. Make sure you affirm 97 percent of the time, so that when it’s time to be tough in the remaining 3 percent, your love and encouragement will be credible. How will a person know you’re on his or her side if the only evaluation you ever pass on is a negative one?

CONFRONTING WITH LOVE – PART 1

I know we all feel this way sometimes! Take a look at part one of this awesome devotional.

 

“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT

None of us enjoy confronting others, but sometimes it must be done. So: be honest and direct. Tenderness is not a matter of being diplomatic or tactful, or using euphemistic language, or “beating around the bush” and softening the blow. Don’t do that. Weigh what needs to be said in clear and unmistakable terms, then lay it squarely on the line. If you love them, level with them! But a word of caution here: don’t use words like “love” and “transparency” to disguise a judgmental attitude. People get screamed at, chewed out and verbally abused in the name of love. Don’t vent your anger at someone in the name of honesty. Not one of us is qualified to confront the other until we have carefully examined our motivations for doing so—including, as much as humanly possible, those motives that evade our conscious minds. You should always confront with reluctance, never with eagerness. You should confront directly, yet gently, and always with a desire to bring about God’s best in the other person’s life. It is far more Christ-like to confront another person through tears than with a voice raised in anger. At all points, the listener should never be in doubt as to your love and acceptance. Genuine love says: “I’ve got something to tell you. I know this won’t be easy for either of us, but I respect you enough to give it to you straight. I care about you, I’m committed to our relationship, and I want you to be the best you can be.”