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By Cheri Walters

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In one church where Ken served as assistant pastor, a couple BEING CoNFRoNTED 47 who supervised the junior Sunday school department asked to speak with him just before the Wednesday evening service. He agreed to meet with them briefly, after which he had other duties to attend to (making sure the various family night activities were running smoothly). An hour and a half later the couple finally finished breathing fire about a decision affecting their department, a decision made by the senior pastor and official board (and one which, unknown to the couple, Ken had advised against).

They gave a general reason for the move to friends, but Joyce confided to me privately that the real reason for the move was to get away from the smothering influence of her in-laws who were also members of our church. A few days later, Joyce’s mother-in-law phoned me at home to ask what I knew about their move. I recited the standard story Steve and Joyce had been disseminating, but she persisted. “What else did Joyce tell you? ” She alternated between pumping me for information and explaining in detail why her son and daughter-in-law had marital problems.

C3,» Think through the problem. , Begin with a positive statement. ~ Listen to the other person. ,Be specific. 7QDon’t respond in kind. Being Confronted If confronting is difficult, it’s even harder being confronted. When the “well-intentioned dragons” (as Marshall Shelley calls them in his book of the same name) spew forth fire and smoke, it’s almost impossible not to get a little singed. But there are ways to keep from being consumed. One of the hardest lessons to learn is how to let another person’s anger roll off without taking it personally.

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