Courage and Kindness

Joy Petroelje

Read: Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (v. 6)

Addressing conflict is not my favorite activity, but it’s a necessary part of life. As a Christian, I have sometimes felt like I had to avoid confrontation to be effective for Christ, yet the Bible instructs us differently. From the commissioning of Joshua to the commissioning of the disciples (Matthew 28:16-20), the Bible makes it clear that we are charged to live boldly for the sake of the gospel, relying on our God who is with us always, “to the end of the age” (v. 20).

A graduate student I mentored once asked my opinion on weaving together courage and kindness as an approach to facing confrontation. I felt qualified to answer because I had just dealt with a confrontation at work. A business owner had mishandled a contract for my organization, and I was very frustrated. I had drafted an angry email, but instead of sending it right away, I saved it and prayed about it. The next day, I could see the situation more clearly. I wrote a new email, sharing my disappointment but also taking responsibility for my part in the situation. The result of this email? A respectful resolution.

We may not always be readily courageous, but when conflict arises we can step back and question how God would have us kindly, but boldly, confront in a way that brings us resolution and him glory. —Joy Petroelje

As you pray, ask God to give you courage and kindness when facing confrontation.