Saturday, June 10, 2006

Confrontation

Eee...need to destress =P

The title was just a thought that came into my head, and so decided to write on it =) Did I ever tell you? I hate confrontations!! >.< I hate it when I need to have "the talk" with someone (hmm..did Ben say that to me before? I think so...sounds familiar =P), especially someone that is close, but not too close =P

Just a few days ago, someone commented that I am "soft and gentle" and I am not tough enough to scold people. Well, ahem..to clarify that, I am soft (well, girls are meant to be gentler than guys right?) in the way that I believe in giving chances and I believe in seeing the best in people. But I am certainly not a "door-mat" coz I know that I don't let people push me around without making my own mind up >.<
God knows that I hate confrontations, that's why I was just telling Las, in the midst of all of this, the person that will get "shaped" the most will be me, coz He's trying to teach me something. So I've summarised...well, not completely, but some of my principles in this matter (and I know that I'll learn something new again in the time to come):
  1. I believe in loving people (not the touchy-mushy, candy floss love, but the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres)

After my first principle, I realise that I have said it all - and all my other principles are just derived from my first:

  • I believe in showing compassion (seeing people through Christ-like eyes), if one's angry, hold it till the next time
  • I believe in speaking words that encourage or build people up (if not, one might as well not say anything at all!)
  • I believe in finding out the truth about a situation (hence, I won't listen to one side and not the other)
  • I don't believe in public humiliation, I believe in correcting people in private
  • I don't believe in bombarding people with commands, I believe in building relationship and trust
  • I don't believe that one has the authority to speak into everybody's lives (I believe in keeping the boundaries)

I can continue for a long time I think, but I'll stop coz I know that deep down, 1 Corinthians 13 sums it all up. I remember I asked Ange one day 3 (or 4) years ago (in my early Christian days):

Jess: So what's the one verse in the bible that you hold very closely to? Like one that strikes you the most?

Ange: (I forgot what she said...but I'll remember to ask her next time!!) How bout yours?

Jess: Hmm...I think it has to be 1 Corinthians 13 where it talks about love, in fact any verse that has to do with love..

Ange: Yeah...afterall, love is the very foundation of Christianity anyway..

Can't really remember the exact words she said, but somewhere along those lines. And I don't consider myself a Christian back then! And yet, I knew the only difference that attracts people to us is the love that God has shown, and that love is made complete when we love one another (1 John 4:12).

Something from Daily Bread:

"A true friend will put a finger on your faults without rubbing them in"

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To have compassion and to display anger are not mutually exclusive (cf. Jesus in the temple)

I agree that public humiliation for the sake of humiliation is ridiculous for several reasons, chief of which is that it simply doesn't work. But, public discipline is not to be avoided at all costs. Jesus recommends that bringing the matter before the entire congregation is one line of action if all else fails.

I don't think that this authority-boundary-hierarchy thing is very biblical. Surely, we have diakonos and episkopos but equally surely we are the "piesthood of believer" and are, de jure, all on the same plane. And this whole authority seems entirely antithetical to biblical trends. God speaking through the mouths of babes, God speaking through the "foolish", God's preferential of the lower classes. De facto, Jesus was at the bottom of the religious hierarchy of the day. And yet here we are subscribing to a New-Covenant hierarchy? That's laughable; it would be funny were it not so tragic. To rigidly structure leadership where lines of rights are clearly drawn, Amos has this to say, "I am not a prophet, nor a prophet's son." (I know your NIV doesn't say that. But the Hebrew tenses are unclear...)

In general, I agree with what you have to say: Certainly, use gentleness always before force. But equally certainly, there is a place for force. My fundamental concern is this notion of rigid, clearly demarcated leadership-laity dichotomies. To me, that is the height of Phariseeism.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

ah!! jon!! i told u to use english!! >.< I think I only probably understood...the english =P but will try to digest it during my next read, probably not at 1:07a.m. =P

6:10 AM  
Blogger 12uth said...

In reference to your reply to my comment in the previous post, I can say it again that we really think alike! haha. :D I like the way you've dissected out(is that the right term?) 1 Cor 13. Esp the part where if the words we are speaking are not encouraging to the other person, we might as well not speak at all. Heh. I've got that written on my wall this year to remind myself daily. :)

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also disagree with Ruth. If we worry about "encouraging people" all the time, we'll be extremely ineffective. I have an Adrian Plass piece about the "ministry of encouragement" gone too far somewhere. Again, there is a place for harshness. It is biblical, it is practical. Sometimes we have to stop thinking about "how this guy will feel" and start thinking about what is good for other people. We have a responsibility to them as well.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Okie, fresher brain now..but still dun understand some of the terms =P

Jon - you know we can talk about this forever right? =P did you mention rigidity? You did right? But anyhoo, yeah I believe that we need to be flexible n pray for discernment and wisdom to deal with each situation as they come (hence, I tell u that I can't generalise, and I think it's dangerous to generalise). So I think we need to deal with each situation differently.

And I do believe that you can scold ppl and yet encourage them - it all depends on the way you do it. If it's just going to depress them and does nothing good, might as well try some other approaches.

So in conclusion, i'll stick to my principles but yet not going to be stubborn about it - up for flexibility anytime (as long as you can convince me to do so =P).

Ruthie - we girls are definitely different from some of the guys >.< I'm glad that God created us =P hehe..

9:50 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

ey...i know you talking about me la..heh

12:52 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

heyhey since when did this became sexist?? dont even go there jess >.<

i feel the same too, with reference to your 5th comment. would you have seen this reply coming from me? =)

9:00 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

josh: teehee =P that 'someone' who commented on me being soft and gentle included u n someone else =P

ben: hehe..you always have the more 'feminine' side of men, and that's a GOOD thing! =)

1:50 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

0_o 'feminine' side??? what feminine side?!?!?!



yuck. =p

2:30 AM  
Blogger martin said...

jess!

u blog?

cool :)

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »

10:00 PM  

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