1 Samuel 12:“1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. 3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. 4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. 5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.”
We have been looking at 21 elements that constitute compassion-driven confrontation.
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.
4. Compassion-driven confrontation keeps the proper priority during the confrontation.
A. The priority should be the relationship.
B. The priority should be what is in best interest of the one being confronted (1 Samuel 12:21-25).
5. Compassion-driven confrontation stays close to the Lord’s leading (1 Samuel 8:19-22).
6. Compassion-driven confrontation should come from the right person (2 Samuel 12:1).
Now, for the next 3 elements in compassionate confrontation:
7. Compassion-driven confrontation should come from someone who had treated them justly (1 Samuel 12:3-5).
1 Samuel 12:“3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. 4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. 5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.”
The people realized that Samuel was the right man for the confrontation, not only because he was God’s man, but because his followers testified that he had treated them fairly and justly. If you want to confront, and you want the results to be what is best for your follower, then there ought to be an established pattern of treating your followers with patience and fairness.
8. Compassion-driven confrontation ties in the principles of Scripture (1 Samuel 8:19-22; 1 Samuel 12:14-15).
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.”
Notice what happened here. God spoke to Samuel and then Samuel spoke God’s Word to the people.
1 Samuel 12:“14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.”
In this case, Samuel laid out the principles of Scripture by saying if you do this, God has said this will happen; and if you do this, God has said that will happen. In both passages we find God sending His messenger with His word.
A compassionate leader will take the time to seek the scriptural principles that apply to this particular situation before confronting. We ought to have the desire to explain to the wrong-doer what God’s Word says about the transgression and what God’s Word says about the remedy.
You may be able to find a Bible story that illustrates the particular situation that requires your current confrontation. But if not, you can almost always find principles that will apply to your situation in the Book of Proverbs. In fact, all of the points I have given you and will continue to give you are based on Scriptural principles.
As your letting compassion drive your confrontation, ask yourself what principles from the Bible apply to your situation.
9. Compassion-driven confrontation still exposes the transgression (2 Samuel 12:7a, 9-10).
2 Samuel 12:“7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. … 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.”
When Nathan confronted David, he told David exactly what he had done. It was not pretty. He even repeated it several times. It is not compassionate to be vague or to beat around the bush or even to avoid dealing with the sin when you confront somebody. Confront the transgression and call it what it is. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession means “to say the same thing as.” In other words, confession is saying the same thing about your sin as God says about it.
A compassionate confronter cares enough to get to the wrong-doing and deal with it. It is not compassionate to brush sin under the proverbial carpet. It is not compassionate to make the sin seem like it’s not that big of an issue or to pretend like it never happened. No, even when it doesn’t feel compassionate, a confronter will take the sin head on and will accept no excuses.
Question: Do you look back at a time in your life when you were confronted and see it as a turning point in your life?