WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5
“He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
2 Samuel 12:1-4 ESV
SKILLFUL CONFRONTATION: TONE
Several years ago after a devastating California earthquake, the news camera panned a devastated neighborhood. Houses collapsed horribly in on themselves, downed power lines and people had that utterly shocked look on their faces. The camera happened to spy a woman standing in the rubble of what was once her house where only one ten foot section of an inner wall was left standing. The woman looked at the wall where a single picture hung and she went over to the picture and straightened it out, stepped back and nodded. The reporter dashed over to her and asked her why she even bothered. She said, “I can’t do much about all of this, but right now I can clean up this ten-foot section and straighten out this picture.”
When others heard about this woman’s attitude, they got inspired. Signs and banners were hung around the neighborhood: Ten Feet at a Time. Everyone had a place to begin their huge task–right where they were. Ten feet at a time. It was an inspiration for the whole neighborhood.
On Sunday, Mike reminded those of us in conflict to choose our words carefully but choose our attitude even more carefully. In 2 Samuel 12 Nathan starts his confrontation with David by sharing an easily relatable story to illustrate the sin in David’s own life. There wasn’t texting back then but even if there had been this was not a texting conversation. This was a face to face conversation where facial expressions and tone mattered. It’s not just what we say but our attitude and how we say it is also important.
The prophet Nathan’s attitude was to build up David and not to destroy him. We can benefit from following Nathan’s example when we need to confront people we love. When you think about the last time you dealt with confrontation, do you think it was done with an attitude to build up or an attitude to destroy? Ask God to give you an attitude of building up with any confrontation you may face in the near future.