Tomorrow I am meeting with a friend for coffee. I’ve been praying like crazy because I love this person and it’s because I love them that I’m anxious about our conversation.
I have some concerns. I’ve noticed some things that I feel like God may want me to caution this person about. But I have nothing to gain personally, and everything to lose relationally. And…I may be wrong.
Like many of you I’m pretty much a people-pleaser. I avoid saying hard things almost as much as I avoided hopping on the Yoga band-wagon.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about the Jesus way of hard conversations. As I’ve prayed and looked for examples in Scripture, here are a few questions I’ve asked myself:
1. Do I have enough of a relationship with this person to have this kind of conversation? Have I built trust? Do they know more than anything else that I love them and am for them?
2. Are they open to letting me speak into their life in this way? Am I assuming a role that I shouldn’t? Or is this a Nathan situation (2 Samuel 12:1)?
3. Am I going into this conversation prayed up and having examined my heart for messy motives? Is my desire to speak rooted in pride or control?
4. If this really is a case of iron sharpening iron, am I open to the roles being reversed? Am I receptive to hearing something from this friend that might be hard for me to hear?
5. Am I going in with a humble spirit, asking questions more than making pronouncements, willing to listen and admit I may not be seeing things clearly?
6. People hear criticism like you’re using a bull horn and affirmation like you’re whispering it in the middle of a violent wind storm. Have I figured out how to integrate grace and affirmation throughout our conversation? And if there was just one concern I’d want to make sure this person heard, what would it be?
The title of this post was misleading. There’s no magic formula and if there is, I don’t know it. I’m just a learner who is stuttering her way through – all Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”. Anyone can make a list of questions. But a real conversation?? “Come Holy Spirit” is about all I know to say for sure.
What am I missing? What would you add?