Lessons From Norman Part #2

Lessons From Norman Part #2

Surround Yourself With People Who Will be Honest With You.

 

Find friends who will be confrontational in a world where it seems like everyone is offended by everything. If you truly want to grow as a person you have to be told that you’re wrong and then you have to discover new things. Whether you are writing a book, raising a family, or just trying to become a better version of yourself; iron sharpens iron.

Have you ever hit two pieces of metal together. It doesn’t always sound soft and gentle. Sometimes it even creates sparks. At the end of the day to become sharper you have to learn to grow through healthy confrontation.

How do you approach confrontation in a healthy way?

First, you need people in your life that are brave enough to confront you.

I won’t name any names, but I’ll use some of my friendships as examples in order to show you what I mean.

I have a friend who I run most of my writing through and he disagrees with my point of view a lot. We disagree about the Bible on a fundamental level and I don’t know if that will ever resolve itself. Honestly, I’m not sure that I want it to. We both agree that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and he is the Messiah. From there we tend to disagree about things like how ministry should be done or how we should approach scripture. That doesn’t mean that I get rid of an idea or that I just erase my thoughts and write down what he says. Instead, I like to take what he says and refine my writing in a way that gets my point across without closing the minds of readers by saying that they should take my word as truth and never question it. At the end of the day, this guy is my best friend and we talk on a daily basis about much more than our disagreements, but when he thinks that I’m wrong he tells me. That’s one of the most valuable things in the world. It takes a brave person to confront a stranger. It takes an even braver one to confront a close friend.

I wouldn’t recommend only having relationships with people who disagree with you either. I have other friends who agree with me about most things, but they offer encouragement and usually add to my thoughts with points that I might not have come up with on my own. Those friendships are helpful as well and when we disagree we always approach confrontation with grace. I’m so thankful for the people in my life!

Here are a few tips I’ve found for approaching confrontation in a healthy way:

  1. Be humble, be humble, be humble. I can’t stress this enough. If you approach every situation thinking you are right and trying to prove your point then you’ll eventually push people away in your life.

  2. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but preface your thoughts with listening to others. They may already agree with you, but aren’t using the right words to explain themselves.

  3. If you are going to point out a flaw in someone then offer a solution. If you want your relationships to be uplifting then you have to encourage each other, not just try to correct them.

  4. Realize that everyone is equal. Maybe not in knowledge or wisdom, but as a part of humanity. God sees value in individuals even when it’s not obvious. We should approach the people in our lives the same way.

  5. Don’t let any disagreement become so strong that it causes you to become angry and ruin relationships. If things get heated then take a break and come back to that conversation another time if it’s even necessary.

Enjoy your friends and family and express to them your desire for honesty and grace. When you communicate an expectation for a relationship then it gives them the option to give their opinion as well. If we hide expectations we will eventually be hurt or let down.

Do you have any tips on healthy communication? If so, leave a comment and let the rest of us know about it.