5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONFRONTING A FRIEND by Edward T. Welch for Core Christianity

Ways to Talk about Sin

Sin becomes public in three different ways: someone confesses it, we see it, or we are told about it. Each of these suggests different responses. For example, a person who confesses is already in the battle against sin. But a person who is found out might not have entered the battle yet. You will adjust your engagement according to the other person’s honesty and self-awareness. Following are some ways to enter into the discussion.

1. Say Something

The first words are the hardest. When you have no idea what to say, be honest:

“You have been on my heart. I have really appreciated your willingness to say that you struggle with porn, but I have been concerned that people might leave you alone. Could we talk about it?”

“Something you said the other day has really stuck with me. It was when you got angry at your wife. Could we talk about it?”

“I know you have been really busy with work and traveling more than usual. It got me thinking about how my own struggle with temptations can be more severe when there are fewer people around who know me. How have you been dealing with your temptations when you are on the road?”

If you have clear evidence of sinful actions, be specific. If you have concerns or questions, simply raise them without accusing. All this can be hard, but, if we are left with regrets, most of us regret not saying something.

2. “We” More Than “You”

A turning point in a man’s fight with illegal drugs occurred when his wife discovered that he was using again, and she responded, “What are we going to do?” In other words, “How will we fight this together?” In response to her husband’s sin, she moved closer. This began a process that included a clear plan, years of sobriety, and a growing relationship.

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