You don’t have to be around a group of people very long before you begin to realize that every group has they’re issues. And almost any group, if together long enough, will have persons who have hurt each other deeply. It’s true with any group, even a church group. However, I sometimes grieve when I watch the way disputes and disagreements are handled among church members. In Matthew 18, Jesus acknowledges that we hurt each other, but also tells us how to handle it. Here is what he says:
15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
So, let’s look at this passage and see the steps that we should take to seek reconciliation:
And we wonder why we have trouble bringing about reconciliation…maybe we should do what the Lord says when we know someone has sinned against us:
Notice that there is a HUGE difference between list one and list two. The first list avoids the person and the sin, seeking to quickly move on without any effort in bringing together the hurt parties. The second list goes straight to bringing together the parties, and is unrelentingly seeking unity with the person who has sinned (messed up, hurt you). In times of hurt and pain, do we trust that Christ Jesus really knows the best way to deal with it? If so, let’s commit to being Matthew 18 people!
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.