I don’t know anyone who really likes confrontation. It’s always messy and uncomfortable and very often it doesn’t end well. We often do all we can to avoid it. Sometimes we’re just postpone the inevitable and actually making the situation worse. When we ignore an issue we allow the elephant to sit in the room indefinitely and the longer he’s there, the heavier he gets.

Confrontation is always difficult. But Paul tells Titus that true biblical leadership is exercised best by those who can manage confrontation well. With respect to biblical truth it is essential to confront error whenever it rears its head. To ignore it, as Paul tells Titus, will have detrimental effects on whole families as well as the eternal destinies of individuals. A Christian leader must be equipped to confront error when it settles down in the room. Correction, however, must include an element of encouragement. The New Living Translation says, “Cheer people up and give them hope. Correct them with full authority.” Proper confrontation is truly a sign of biblical leadership.

We read about the doctrinal errors of a teacher names Apollos in the book of Acts. It’s recorded in Chapter 18 and verse 26. It says, “He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” The gracious way Priscilla and Aquila dealt with Apollos is an example to us all. They saw the error in his teaching and didn’t avoid it, but rather confronted it with humility respecting the dignity of the young man. They might have stood up and corrected him publicly—making him embarrassed or defensive. Instead they remained quiet in public. They invited him to their home. They “explained … more adequately.” Rather than stress where Apollos was wrong, they affirmed what was right and went on from there. What a guide to correcting error without losing the person!

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Proverbs 27:5