Christian love requires that we must at times confront one another about sin patterns that hinder growth toward spiritual fruitfulness and maturity. However, before we embark on what I like to call “the ministry of confrontation” let’s be ready to ask ourselves some questions.
- Have I asked God to search my own heart for hidden, secret sins for which I need to repent? – Psalm 139:23-24
- Have I honestly searched my own life to see if I am guilty of the same sin of which I intend to confront my brother/sister? – Matthew 7:3-5
- Have I heeded the admonition of Proverbs 18:17, and am I judging rightly, as Jesus directed. Or do I simply have a critical spirit and a judgmental attitude? – John 7:24
- Have I prayed for my brother’s/sister’s heart to be tender and receptive to my concern? – Isaiah 57:15
- Have I prayed for ears to listen to my brother’s/sister’s words and a heart to listen to the meaning behind his/her words? – James 1:19
- Have I recently been reminded of how I myself am also vulnerable to temptation? – Galatians 6:1
- Have I recently read Romans 6 & 7 and been reminded of my own wretchedness and desperate need for the gospel and a gracious Savior? – Romans 7:24
- Am I willing to be patient and ready to help my brother/sister bear his/her sin burden? – Galatians 6:2
- Am I willing to love my brother/sister enough to speak the truth in love? -Ephesians 4:15
- Am I now ready to go to him/her in a spirit of gentleness and humility or am I angry and, therefore, more likely to be harsh? – Galatians 6:1
After working through this self-examination checklist, prayerfully proceed with humility and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
*Originally published July 26, 2011