Confronting Sin

Joel Plantinga

READ : Nehemiah 5:1-13

When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. . . . So I called together a large meeting to deal with them. (vv. 6-7 NIV)

I find “uncomfortable conversations” to be, well, very uncomfortable! I’m by nature a peacemaker, always trying to find common ground with others. Nevertheless there are times when tough confrontations need to happen in order to pave the way for reconciliation or positive change.

One of the things that surprises me about Nehemiah’s wall-building project is that he didn’t need to confront his own people until this point in the story. After all, it was their disobedience that had caused the problem in the first place. Perhaps the people, once they were motivated, became so focused on the task that they hadn’t allowed the deeper issues to surface. Then it came to Nehemiah’s attention that there were unfair lending practices within the community. Something needed to be done in order to bring justice and maintain unity.

It’s easier to say nothing when we see something sinful in another person. It’s also easier to get defensive when another person sees something sinful in us. But being open to confrontation can lead to growth. True maturity allows us to help, and be helped, by means of “uncomfortable” conversations.


God, as difficult as it may be, open our hearts to accountability in our lives. Amen.