Many years ago, when I was in my 20s, I was a youth worker at a church. At that time, we had a guest speaker from Africa. His name was Elijah Maswangungi. After his visit, I was given the task of driving him to the airport. On the way, he spent some time encouraging me. He felt that although I was a young leader, I had great potential. Then he said, “There are a few things you need to work on. First of all, you need to smile more. You are very tall and that can be quite intimidating. A smile draws people to you. Then he shared a few more things we don’t have time to talk about today.”

Anyway, I dropped him off at the airport … pretty quickly … and I started the long drive back to the office. To be honest, I was annoyed. Smile … I was smiling on the inside. But after a few days of stewing, I realised he was right. So I started smiling – driving in my car, getting into a lift. In fact, a few years later I was speaking at an event in Adelaide and a woman came up and said, “You’re the smiling speaker!” I thought, “Elijah where are you now!”

All this to say, I am now very thankful for someone who was willing to not only encourage me but to speak into my life. To confront me. I am a better person for it.

Have you ever heard the phrase – ‘speak the truth in love’? It’s an important principle in life.

Unfortunately, some people only ‘speak the truth’. There’s not a lot of love in the way they bring up issues or confront a problem. In fact, some people get really angry when they confront others. As a result, relationships are usually damaged and other people get hurt or offended.

On the other hand, some people are so ‘loving’ that they never speak the truth. They do everything to keep the peace … but unfortunately, they ignore the issues and they never deal with them, to everyone’s detriment. Important matters stay under the surface, eventually causing problems later down the track because they were never really addressed.

Which way do you lean? Do you need to be a little move loving when you speak the truth? Or do you need to be a little more truthful as you relate to the people in your world?

The challenge is for us to have both the courage and the consideration to confront in a loving manner … for everyone’s benefit.

Learn to speak the truth in love.

This has been Soul Food with Mark Conner. See you next week!

You can watch a video of this episode on the Soul Food YouTube channel.

2 thoughts on “Soul Food Episode 36 – Confrontation

  1. Smiling!!! Very encouraging indeed by a mere smile. I also had an opportunity to drive Dr Elijah Maswanganyi too. He spoke blessings to my life. I was driving him to a local hotel where he was booked for a massage. He was Pastoring in our local Church in South Africa and the same province where he is coming from. He is a man of God full of Wisdom. Amen

    1. How amazing that you met him too. So glad to hear of your encouragement also. God bless and keep smiling, no matter what.

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