1 Samuel 8:“19 Neverthe-less the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”
We have been looking at what constitutes compassion-driven confrontation.
Before I give you the new elements, let me review:
1. Compassion-driven confrontation does not mean that the confrontation itself is pleasant (2 Samuel 12:1-14).
2. Compassion-driven confrontation confronts with what is known to be true (2 Samuel 12:7, 9b).3. Compassion-driven confrontation keeps the proper perspective (1 Samuel 8:7).
A. Choosing to remember the good about the confronted person while I am confronting gives me proper perspective.
B. Reminding myself what I am capable of gives me the proper perspective.
C. Reminding myself the difference that God’s grace has made in my life gives me the proper perspective.
Now, for the next elements in compassionate confrontation:
4. Compassion-driven confrontation keeps the proper priority during the confrontation.
The confronter should keep at least a two-fold priority:
A. The proper priority should be maintaining the relationship with the person (2 Samuel 12:24-25).
2 Samuel 12:“24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.” This is the same chapter as the confrontation, though the birth of Solomon would have come at least a year after the confrontation at the beginning of the chapter. Still, after Solomon is born, we see Nathan reaching out to David to encourage him, telling him that Solomon was “Jedidiah,” meaning “beloved of Jehovah.” Years later we see David going back to Nathan telling him of his desire to build a Temple for God. Nathan gave him the go-ahead, but had to go back to tell David that God did not want him to build it. David still was allowed to prepare everything for his son, Solomon, to build.
My point is this: Even through Nathan’s confrontation with David, he was able to retain his relationship with David. It is also worth noting that David’s humility and spirituality had a lot to do with this.
B. The priority should be what is in best interest of the one being confronted (1 Samuel 12:21, 25).
1 Samuel 12:“21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. … 25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.”
When Samuel confronted the Israelites about their desire for a king, he took the time to explain to them why getting their own way or doing their own thing would be bad for them. He did not confront them because he was mad or because it was what he wanted to do, but because it would be in their best interests.
The priority of my follower’s best interest may cause me to get red-faced and ready to kill, or it may cause me to talk very calmly. It may cause me to kick them out of practice to get their attention or it may cause me to take them out for a bite to eat to have their undivided attention. When I let their best interests determine what I do, that is allowing compassion to drive the confrontation.
5. Compassion-driven confrontation stays close to the Lord’s leading throughout the confrontation (1 Samuel 8:19-22).
In other words, while you are confronting, be sure to listen to the Lord’s quiet voice of guidance as I do it.
1 Samuel 8:“19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”
Samuel confronted the people. The people responded back to him. Samuel went back to the Lord and told Him what they said. Then God told Samuel what to do.
The reason that compassion-driven confrontation stays close to the Lord’s leading throughout the confrontation is because that was my desire to start with. My desire was not to get my way or even to make a point, but to accomplish what God wants me to accomplish with the confrontation.
6. Compassion-driven confrontation should only come from the right person and should not be avoided when you are the right person (1 Samuel 3:12-13; 2 Samuel 12:1).
2 Samuel 12:1 “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.”
1 Samuel 8:“22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”
God had Samuel speak to the people and God had Nathan speak to David. These were men that God had chosen to make this confrontation. If you don’t quite understand what I mean, let me say it this way: if it is not your business, then stay out of it. As a parent, I don’t mind someone confronting my children when it is not their business. However, as a parent, I have also heard my children talking to each other when they got home. They have expressed the frustration at an adult who had no idea what they were talking about or who had tried to use as a foundation a relationship with my children that did not exist. In this situation, I will support the adult in front of my kids, but that doesn’t mean that I think the confronting adult was right. There are some instances where I would obviously want an adult who sees my kids doing wrong to correct them. But, if it were not their place to do so, I would more often prefer for them to let me know so I can make the necessary confrontation.
As a side note, I have also spent time training my kids how I want the to respond to any adult who confronts them, whether it is their business or not and whether they have no clue what they are talking about or not. I not only want them to respond the right way, I also want them to avoid doing the kind of things that would lead to a confrontation in the first place.
The second half of the statement dealt with the other half of the responsibility. If it is your job to confront, you better not shirk your responsibility. The verse used for this point is from the life of Eli. 1 Samuel 3: “12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”
It was Eli’s responsibility to confront his sons and restrain them. He made a feeble attempt in the previous chapter to talk sense to them, but they would not listen. Now he is being condemned as a father for his lack of restraint. It was his job to confront and he was wrong to avoid doing what he needed to do.
Question: Can you remember times when you were confronted by the right person at the right time in the right way? How do you now feel about that confrontation?