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October 28, 1990

Selective Confrontation

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Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. PROVERBS 10:12
Accountability is a big deal in our society. It’s extremely beneficial to have people in our lives who will come alongside us and call a foul a foul, friends who are courageous enough to tell us when we’ve done something wrong.
But there’s also a place for a someone to say, “I’m not going to call you into account for every little thing. There will be times when I will have to confront you, but there will be other times when, out of love for you, I will simply cover for you.”
This is a common practice at home—if you called your spouse into account for everything he or she did wrong, the confrontation would never end. It’s not quite so common at work—but it should be. “Above all,” writes the apostle Peter, “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
There are some issues in the workplace that must be dealt with—for example, if someone is stealing from the company or violating the corporate code of ethics, confrontation is necessary. But there are many other things that happen in the daily course of life—things that we might call “wrongs”—that we simply let roll off our backs. Let’s say we greet someone as we walk past him in the hall, and we don’t get a response. We could get offended, or we could just assume he’s having a bad day and let it go. Or maybe a meeting gets heated and a coworker swears at us. We could get mad, or we could chalk it up to frustration and ignore it.
In a work setting, the ability to not take offense at every little thing makes a huge difference in our ability to get our work done and to maintain productive relationships on the job. Some wrongs need to be righted. But there also are some wrongs we need to forgive, some wrongs we need to release, and other wrongs we just need to forget.
Is there an offense at work that you need to release?

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