This week I read chapters 11 and 12.
Chapter 11 is titled "Speaking the Truth in Love". This chapter is about Biblical confrontation. It helped me shake off the old image of past experiences where I have been accosted by people claiming to "speak the truth in love" while angrily listing off several offenses toward them and and offering no hope for the future relationship with them. Up until now, that is the only association I had for this phrase. The first page of this chapter (page 199) addresses that very issue with an illustration from the author's life.
This chapter addresses why we don't confront others biblically (lack of courage), how to do it (start with examining your own heart) what our goals should be (to be used as an instrument to help others see themselves in the mirror of God's word), and it leaves us with a beautiful explanation of the Gospel and how it applies to our lives everyday and in every circumstance.
Chapter 12 is titled "The Process of Speaking the Truth in Love". The following two paragraphs were worth reading this chapter for me:
"The Lord owns every one of our relationships. He has placed us in each one for the advancement of his kingdom and the sake of his glory. His agenda is so much bigger and better than ours! By his grace he is taking lost, suffering, blind, deceived, self-absorbed, fearful, and rebellious people and molding them into the likeness of his Son. He displays his glory by transforming the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.
This display of glory is taking place where his children--his ambassadors--live, work, and relate. Every situation, conversation, relationship, trial, or blessing belongs to him. None of it belongs to us. We cannot be satisfied with pleasing ourselves in what we say and do, but must ask what would please him."
The author goes on to explain the process of speaking the truth in love and ends the chapter with an example of confrontation taken from 2 Samuel 12:1-7 (Nathan confronting David about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba). The author then applied what he taught us on the previous pages to that situation.
I found both of these chapters to be self-convicting and wonderfully instructive.