Hard Conversations
Rev. Kim McGarr

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Proverbs 20:5

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. James 1:19

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Everyone should look out not only for not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 (HCSB)

I am so grateful that Jesus was willing to face hard conversations! He did not shy away from facing serious situations or having a truth-filled talk about any number of topics that most of us want to avoid. Jesus talked about adultery, serious illnesses, being healed, demonic possession, caring for our family and neighbors, life and death, the poor, and many other topics. Because He did not avoid the conversations, we have His example on how to talk about the serious topics that make us uncomfortable. Jesus was committed to reach out to people, ask about their situation or need, and listen to their response; in doing so, He was able to lead them to the greater life God has for each of us.

I have realized something about myself this week. I am willing to have hard conversations. Those conversations about uncomfortable topics that most people would prefer to ignore, or at least side-step to keep the peace. Now I do not go looking for hard conversations but speaking the truth in love is important to me. I am willing to support others who are facing hard conversations too and help them navigate the treacherous conversational waters.

What hard conversations do you need to have? Are you willing to risk a relationship to speak the truth in love? Love is the key in this. Hard conversations should never be done in haste and without prayer! It is important that we check our motive behind the hard conversation. Are we wanting to be right or prove a point, or are we genuinely concerned about the welfare of another person? Time spent in prayer asking for guidance and direction is necessary before we engage in a difficult conversation.

Lately, I have had to have conversations with an older adult in my life who might need more support daily. I do not want to take away their independence, but should they be driving or living alone? Because this individual was showing signs of depression, was I willing to suggest counseling or even medication? Was my loved one ignoring the signs regarding their physical, emotional, and mental health? Was I willing to broach the topic and have the conversation even if it might make them angry or upset with me?

Perhaps, there is a difficult topic you need to address with someone? Do you have a teenager engaging in risky behavior? Do you have a broken relationship that you want to repair? Is someone in your life struggling with an addiction problem? Do you struggle with anxiety or depression? Have you experienced a loss that you are grieving? Are you facing a diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness? Has life become extremely difficult for you? What topic are you afraid to tackle because of fear, shame, or judgement?

With Jesus as our example, let the Care Team at Mt. Bethel support you as you navigate the conversational waters and have these hard conversations. We want to come along side you and have the hard conversations that lead to healing, wholeness, and health. We can listen to your situation or story, help identify the questions to ask, and lead you to resources that can help with the challenging situation or conversation. The Mt. Bethel Care Team cares about our community and wants to show our loves and concern, especially to those facing tricky situations and conversations. What hard conversation can we help you with?