13 Sep 2018

Courageous Conversations

Our son has coined a phrase that he frequently uses in ministry and also in discussions he has with young people. As soon as my husband and I heard it, we immediately thought how appropriate it is! Oftentimes there are conversations and discussions that need to take place which require courage, especially on the part of the person who takes the initiative to start talking.

Earlier on in my life, I developed a very argumentative disposition. But the strange thing about it was that I was only combative with those closest to me. Deep down inside I have never liked conflict. So, figure that out if you can — a person who did not shy away from arguments but at the same time hated conflict! As I have matured (thank God), arguing is the last thing I want to do. If I had my choice I would run from the very prospect of an argument. But I have come to realize that as with everything there must be a balance — a middle ground. There are simply some conversations that should not be avoided, for the sake of the relationship, the side of right, and just plain godly behavior and personal integrity. However, it is all about the approach and the motive behind the conversation. Even when discussions take place with individuals you are not in relationship with, strangers for example, they can be handled in love and respect.

Regrettably in our world today we have very poor examples of even common decency in handling confrontation and difficult situations. Name calling, defamation of character, Facebook rants, and derogatory tweets do not equate to courageous conversations. In fact, it really demonstrates the opposite — cowardice behavior. Why not at least attempt to discuss the situation God’s Way? Proverbs 16: 7 explains to us that when a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Of course, not all conversations take place with your enemies. Some need to happen with those you love dearly. That requires oftentimes even more courage, tact, and restraint. Ephesians 4: 29 in the New Living Translation is so powerful yet simplistic. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

My daughter and I were talking recently about a situation that I was troubled about in which a conversation that I had nothing to do with however, went very wrong and caused separation between two individuals. She felt my concern but also shared an instance in her life where two people came to her separately regarding a situation in her life and simply spoke truth to her. It was truly a courageous conversation in every sense of the word. She admitted her life may not have gone in its current positively blessed direction had those two individuals not stepped out boldly, yet in love, to have those courageous conversations!

I am grateful for her words of wisdom that gave me comfort in my time of confusion. I encourage you to take some time today to think about someone you may need to have a COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION with. When you put it in God’s hands, and allow Him to guide you through it, I can assure you the outcome will be better than you could ever imagine. You may not see instant evidence of a positive outcome, but you can never go wrong when you put God in the center of everything you do.

Source: First Lady Denise