It Comes with the Territory
God told Ezekiel to confront His people using colorful and striking imagery. “Oholah” and “Oholibah” are symbolic names for sinful Israel and Judah. God describes the sins they have committed and demands that Ezekiel confront the people with their rebellion.
At times a leader must confront the sinful or destructive behavior in the ranks. No healthy leader enjoys confrontation, but no healthy leader avoids it, either. What can we learn from God and Ezekiel about confrontation?
1. Be compassionate. Ezekiel hurt as he recalled the sins of Israel.
2. Be forthright. Ezekiel spoke honestly and directly to the issues.
3. Be specific. Ezekiel didn’t hint but gave specifics about the problem.
4. Be clear. Ezekiel spoke simply the consequences of such behavior.
5. Be redemptive. Ezekiel communicated intent on restoring the people.
6. Be hopeful. Ezekiel ended with words of hoe for the future.
21 Christian Growth Issues in the Bible
I. When Things Go Wrong, Leaders Work to Make Things Right
a. Prov. 27:6
II. Nehemiah Settles A Contentious Dispute
a. Neh. 5:1-19
III. Jesus Teaches the Right Way to Confront
a. Matt. 18:15-35
IV. Restoration is the Best Outcome
a. Gal. 6:1-10
I. To Obey the Word of God
a. Deut. 12:32
II. To Seek Out the Lord’s Commandments
a. 1 Chron. 28:8
b. Eph. 5:17
c. 2 Tim. 2:15
III. To Maintain Good Works
a. Titus 3:8
a. 1 Pet 5:8
The Art of Confrontation
Hosea is not above speaking words of confrontation. He uses vivid imagery and colorful images to describe the evil behavior of his people. Look at his train of thought:
1. He clarifies the desired relationship he wishes to have (6:1-3).
2. He defines the unacceptable behavior (6:4, 5).
3. He highlights his values and priorities (6:6).
4. He lists the conduct that illustrates his point (7:1-14).
5. He reminds the people of their training (7:15).
6. He declares the consequences (7:16).
For six more chapters Hosea continues to detail the people’s unacceptable conduct. Then, in chapter 14, he offers words of restoration. All good confrontation ends in the hope of restoration. The goal is always reconciliation, not excommunication.
When team members drift from goals, leaders owe it to them and to the organization to confront of clarify the situation. This is the only way to stay on track and to maintain respect from the team. Hosea has written the book on it!