Balancing encouragement with confrontation

November 16, 2017 by Dr. Jack Graham

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2

I’ve learned that when it comes to conflict, there are two types of people: those who like to run into conflict and those who avoid it like the plague!

This becomes so apparent when you get into marriage. On the one hand, I’ve known husbands and wives who let problems go on for years and harbor internal bitterness. On the other, I’ve seen those who just love to fight all the time.

But the Bible calls us to find a healthy balance between the two. Obviously there are times for conflict – times to reprove and rebuke. Yet just as often there are times when God wants you to exhort others with complete patience. The key is balance!

So what does a balanced life look like with regard to conflict? You must practice both patient encouragement as well as constructive conflict. So if you are more conflict-averse, talk to someone who knows you well and ask them if there are areas where you could be more straightforward. If you are more comfortable with conflict, check with someone to see if you ever come across too sharply.

As we live on this earth together, each member of the body of Christ should focus on spurring one another on to love and good deeds. And the best way to do that is by having a good balance between encouragement and confrontation.


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