Focus on Descriptions
"Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out." - Colossians 4:6 MSG
Thoughts for Today
We have talked about lovingly confronting the person you care about who is trapped in a life-controlling problem. Yesterday we discussed focusing on the action, not the actor. Another important element in caring confrontation is to focus on descriptions, not on judgments. Your role is not to judge your loved one's behaviors as good or bad—the facts speak for themselves. Keep the lines of communication open by never placing a value judgment on their behavior. By giving descriptions rather than judgments, you put yourself in a neutral role of reporting on what has been seen rather than judging that behavior as right or wrong.
Effective communication will gradually lessen your loved one's defense mechanisms and allow them to hear the truth in a caring way. In other words, you will be helping them tear down a wall of defenses, brick by brick, until they are able to see themselves as they really are.
Consider this …
In all of your efforts to help your loved one, your clear line of communication with God remains the most important. Turn to him for guidance and strength. Ask him to help you confront your loved one without putting him or her down. Ask him to lead your loved one into repentance and forgiveness … and the new start that only God can make possible.
Lord, help me talk to this person I care so much about without judging or putting down. I need your guidance and strength. I pray you will lead this person into repentance and forgiveness. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.
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