By Carlton Foster – September 24, 2019
Christian should avoid confrontation! There are many examples in the Bible which show that it is best to stay away from confrontation. The first one that I will point out is when the Jews wanted to kill Jesus as shown in Matthew 26:3, “Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. (NKJV).” John 7:1 confirms the nonconfontational strategy of Jesus, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him (NKJV).” He could have chosen to walk in Judea since he was the Son of God, and God would protect him; however, he chose to stay away from confrontation. He stayed away from Jerusalem and Judea until the appointed time of His crucifixion, then he entered Jerusalem.
Also, there was another time Jesus avoided confrontation when he heard of the death of John the Baptist, he avoided confronting John’s killers as stated in Matthew 14:12-13, “Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.” There was another time when Lazarus died and the disciples were wondering if he was going to Lazarus’ funeral. The disciples knew well that some Jews would also be there at the funeral, and his presence would result in a confrontation, so he stayed away for four days for that reason, as well as to perform a miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead after four days.
There are other examples in the Bible showing nonconfontational, such as the example of Elijah who ran away from Jezebel when she was searching for him to kill him. Elijah, who had just recently showed some miraculous power from God on the mountain, where the fire came down and consumed the sacrifices on the altar; this was a confirmation of God’s power. However, Jezebel was out to get him, so he avoided the confrontation and left the area. The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan, and it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there (1 Kings 17:2-4).” Some people may say that he should have stayed and confronted Jezebel because he had just demonstrated that he has a powerful God that can fight his battle with Ahab and Jezebel.
Another example is when Jesus was a baby. His life was in a life-and-death situation when King Herod wanted to kill him, so after the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel explained, “Stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him (Mat 2:13 NLT).” Again, some would argue that they should not run from Herod, that God should protect them by standing up to Herod and his army.
But this notion is playing into the hands of the evil one. I will show you how the Devil operates, and anytime you see a similar articulation, then it is from the evil one. For example, when Jesus was been tempted in the wilderness, the evil one tempted him by saying something similar: ‘look your God is powerful, so throw yourself down from this cliff, because I know your powerful God will pick you up before you dash your foot against a stone.’ He is implying that because God is powerful, we should confront others and our powerful God will protect us. But Jesus reminded him that it is written that we should not tempt God to protect us in the time of danger. We should instead avoid, at all costs, confrontations. God will step in and do whatever he wants to do. Christians should avoid confrontation!
There many other examples in the Bible which show that it behooves us to stay away from confrontations, such as when David could have confronted his son Absalom who wanted to overthrow him and rule over Jerusalem. David, a man of God, instead packed up his things and with his small army, they escaped from Jerusalem. Another example is the three Hebrew boys who were facing a confrontation with the king in regard to bowing down to a statue. Daniel 3:10-11 states, “You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” But if you notice that even though the three Hebrew boys have a God that is powerful and can do all things, they said. ‘but if he does not protect us, they will not bow down to this image’, and so they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God did however step in and save them, but also could have let them burn. He also could have saved them before they were thrown into the fire. He could have done other things to quash the confrontation between the Hebrew boys and the King. God is Sovereign and He can do anything that He wants, but godly people should never initiate confrontations with the evil one and his supporters.
I know that there are passages in the Bible that might appear as if confrontations are necessary for success. In addition, some people may allude to the fact that confrontation is what we should do to gain success. For example, the Bible says that we must “resist” the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). So how would one resist the devil or devilish activities and the devil will flee? You know that is very difficult for the devil, who is a fighter, to give up the fight. If you notice in the wilderness while tempting Jesus that he did not give up easily; he only went away for a season, but he came back again and again, and even try to conquer Jesus on the cross. Resist could be simply “saying no to the devil” instead of putting up a fight. Even though there are passages in the Bible where the children of Israel confronted their enemies and won, Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
We also see passages where confrontation leads to disaster. Take the example of the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson, who had God’s backing and strength, was able to defeat the Philistines on multiple occasions; however, he was confronting Delilah on a number of issues as it relates to his strength and as a result of that, he eventually was blinded and got killed. He believed that God was going to be with him on every confrontation, but God was not with him on one of those occasions that he violated the mandate that God had given to him about keeping his strength a secret.
Also, we read in the Bible where God fought with Israel in many battles against their enemies, and He let them win, but we also read where they lost. So it is not clear as to when God will step in and fight your battles. Some people may say that we need to have more faith in God. Yes! I know that He will fight our battles. God said that He will fight our battles, but we must leave it up to him; at no time did he say that we must engage in confrontations because he will fight our battles. No! He will fight our battles when confrontations come to us; however, as much as possible, we must flee from confrontations.
Solomon also said that if there are confrontations between a quarrelsome wife and a husband that it is better to avoid a confrontation, leave the area in question, and if possible, sleep in the attic; at all costs, avoid such confrontation. In the example the battles of Jericho, Joshua could have confronted the enemies and overrun the walls and go through the gate, the fortified city of Jericho, because God was with them, but the Bible says instead of doing that, they just walked around the city seven days and on the last day, make a loud shout and God destroyed the walls of Jericho. By man’s standards, that is not the way to fight a battle, but with God, being nonconfrontational, He conquers with unknown strategies.
In summary, we have seen that for Christians, it is best not to be confrontational. As much as possible, avoid all issues of confrontation; especially if it has to do with life-and-death situations. Leave it up to God to defend you. In the church, if we are being confronted by other individuals, we must avoid that confrontation. If our families confront us, we are not to engage in those spiritual conflicts. Just as the Lord said to Abraham, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you (Gen 12:1-3 NLT).” The apostle Paul reminds us and said, ‘Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19 NKJV).’