Tough Talk.

As I sit here, my heart aches, knowing that I must have a really tough, candid conversation.  I’ve tried very hard to handle the situation with gentle words, subtle requests, and patience repetition. But despite all my coaxing and agonizing, it’s just not bringing about the kind of response that is necessary.

So I know what I must do, and yet I dread it. I despise conflict. Healthy or not, I typically avoid it at all costs. Seriously. I just don’t like how conflict leaves everyone feeling a little too raw, too wounded.

As I sought solid wisdom and guidance earlier today, I said that it was probably good that I didn’t get the opportunity to have the conversation last week, because I was at my boiling point. But really, who am I kidding?  I cannot remember a time in the last 20 years (if not more) when I have exploded on someone. That’s just not me.

I know this is different – but it’s still going to be contentious and a difficult conversation to have. And, truth be told, I don’t know how it will be received.  Though I don’t want them to, I know that some of my words will cause hurt.

But it’s time. I’ve tried it every other way that I know, and nothing else has worked. Like it or not, I have to face the conversation.  I owe it to myself, I owe it to others, and honestly, I even owe it to this person. Otherwise I am inadvertently nurturing the very situations that must be resolved.

Thus, I will have the conversation, certain it is necessary and hopeful that I can do it firmly, but kindly. I don’t know how it will be received nor what the response will be, but despite my frustration with the situation, it is the cry of my heart that it result in a positive change.


I wonder if God feels the same way with us.

He commands. We ignore.

He speaks. We tune Him out.

He guides. We choose a different way.

He directs. We don’t do as He asks.

Though I’d like to say otherwise, I know it can be true for me far too often. So God gently nudges, kindly whispers, and patiently tries to steer us another way, hoping all the while that we will listen and respond.

Yet sometimes we don’t.

It might be deliberate – we don’t like what He’s telling us, so we choose to do it our own way. Other times, we just aren’t tuned into His leadership in our lives and so we can’t hear His voice or His direction.  Whatever the case may be, we are not doing what God wants us to do.


Sometimes God says, “Enough.”

Though it grieves His heart, sometimes God knows that the only way to get through to us is to have that tough conversation. Without it, we’ll continue on in our headstrong unhealthy ways, and we will miss the blessings God has for us along the path He has chosen.

So He speaks.

God’s voice comes in these moments in many different forms. Make no mistake – God loves us so much that He will do whatever it takes to reach us, to speak to our hearts the message that we need to hear. Sometimes His message isn’t easy to hear because it bruises our egos and batters our hearts.  Yet often we have to embrace the pain in order to accept the necessary change.  It’s all for our good, if we’ll only listen and respond.


God, may I take the awareness of the many times you have to have those tough conversations with me into the next few days. Please guide my words and prepare my heart to speak with grace that provokes change.


7 responses to “Tough Talk.

  1. Sheryl, thanks for sharing your heart so openly. I understand full well not wanting to confront. I’m the master non-confrontist!

    “Speak the truth in love.” I will be praying for you; for The Holy Spirit to anoint your words; for positive change to be the result. Be courageous, Sheryl. God won’t fail you in the grace department.

    • Thanks, Diane! It is not something I look forward to nor want to do, but I know that I must – so do appreciate the prayers of support!

  2. Pingback: Conversations Can Be Your Muse & Aaron Goldman: Day 28 of Project 365 « Writer's Code

  3. I don’t know if you truly are planning to confront or if it is symbolic of the way God feels towards our rebellious hearts and deeds. Either way, I have too much of my own wrongdoing to ever confront anyone else for theirs. When I yield mine to God for fixing, my gratitude and contrition will trust Him to do the same for others who seek it. As a retired teacher of severely disabled students, our main method was to focus on positive behaviors. As we focused and nourished positive behaviors, the negative behaviors became integrated into the good and disappeared. In some beautiful God-way it is true that Love never fails.

    Very good thoughts. Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks, Carolyn. My background is also education, so I have operated under a similar perspective for many years. Unfortunately, however, this is a work-related issue where, as a supervisor, I am obligated to have the conversation as drastic change is an absolute necessity. It is not something that I want to do, but it’s something I must do.

      Aside from that, I do believe that there are times when we are called (even commanded) to confront another brother or sister in Christ for their decisions, as in Matthew 18:15-17 … but we are commanded to do so in private. However, I believe that God speaks very clearly in these moments and those who should speak are convicted without question to do so – I am not a confrontational person by nature at all, so I think that even in a situation like this, I would struggle if I knew God was leading me to confront a brother or sister in Christ.

      Appreciate your words and your kind heart!

  4. Sharilann, I came across the site again and saw your response to my comment. I again read my comment and thought it too direct. I didn’t intend that at all. The desire of my heart was to remind that many times God heals and restores situations with positive deeds where words sometimes cannot suffice.

    Best wishes for good outcomes and restoration to the situation.


    • No need to fret, Carolyn – I didn’t think you were being too direct at all! I appreciated you sharing your thoughts with me!!

      I did have the talk on Monday and while it was tough for both of us, it went better than I’d thought … And immediately I felt the relief and peace that only comes from doing what you know you’re supposed to do. Only time will tell the outcome, but I’m very hopeful for a positive one!

      Have a great day!!

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