A few weeks ago, I was at The Gospel Coalition’s conference with a good friend. Conferences are a great place for me to get away from the every day, and soak in the word and wisdom of those the Lord has gifted. It usually becomes a place of introspection for me as well. I was grateful to be there with a friend who was willing to talk freely about the topics rolling through my mind. I was also glad to be able to do the same for her. We talked so openly and freely, and it was just a beautiful thing. It also doesn’t mean that we agreed with each other on every point, or saw things from the same perspective.
We talked such authenticity, and with such vulnerability. We were honest with each other, but even more so … we were honest with ourselves. I know that we both walked away from that conference with a gain on perspective. Something that has stuck with since the conference is a simple statement my friend made. She said: “We have to be willing to have the uncomfortable conversation.”
But what is the “uncomfortable conversation”?
It is any conversation that takes a measure of bravery to bring up. It is the conversation where we establish healthy boundaries or put an end to toxic relationships. It is the open an honest conversations we have about subjects that are not easy or controversial… whether it be about religion, personal relationships, or in light of more recent events about race, gun control, and human rights.
Why is it so hard for us to have real meaningful conversations, even when they are difficult, uncomfortable, or awkward, with those who are close to us? Is it not funny how easy we can take positions and debate controversial subjects online with complete strangers easier than with our own friends and family? It is not strange that we can go off to another country to share the gospel, but we won’t share the gospel with those closest to us?
Why are so we guarded to those whom we love, and love us? Do we fear the loss of that love and relationship? And do we fear that loss more than telling truth about who we are and what we believe?
If we want to be people who are world changers, we must be willing to start a change in ourselves. We must be willing to have uncomfortable conversations and that first conversation is going to be between God and ourselves. We pray that God will reveal the planks we are carrying around in our own eyes, the sins that we are trying to hide, and the wrongs we have been responsible for. We do this for confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We pray that the Lord would take away our spirit of fear, and replace it with a confidence in Him and His word. We pray for courage to have the uncomfortable conversations, the ones where we need to own wrongs and apologize… and the ones where we need to confront those who have wronged us.
We also pray that the Lord would give us a voice for injustice, a voice for the voiceless, a heart and compassion for those who are marginalized, discriminated, and hurting.
Then we step out in faith to have a lot more uncomfortable conversations with the purpose of being part of the change we want to see in the world.