“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
Confrontation is not easy is it? If we find it easy, we most likely have the wrong idea of what it’s all about. Have you ever confronted someone only to be rebuked with angry words that hurt and cut deeply. Perhaps it has cut off all communication with that person. Was it worth it? Probably not! Sometimes we ‘re quick to point out others faults before we take a good look at our own. Sometimes, we confront with the idea that what they’ve done is far worse than anything we’ve done. That’s when it’s wrong to confront anyone about anything. To go and confront another harboring resentment towards them is not only a bad idea it’s not what Jesus said to do! If we proceed like a bull in a china shop the words will only escalate and blow up in our face. To go confronting, parading a self -righteous attitude that will condemn another is not only asking for drama, it’s clearly not what this verse is saying.
Rather than being quick to point out another’s sin to everyone else, we must take care to keep, what we believe is an offense, confidential. To discuss it with a best friend is close to gossip and to talk behind backs is getting close to playing politics to gain support for our side. It’s wrong and can cause so much damage of reputation. Chances are it will say more about the kind of person we are, more than the one we complain about. Politics can and will quickly split churches, as members are manipulated into taking sides with ideas, that might not even be accurate. How unfair is that?
When offended, our highest priority should be taking the issue to God and bathing it, ourselves personally, and our offender in prayer. We must take care to make sure that we ourselves are in a right relationship with God and ‘set apart’ from the world and the selfishness that motivates us to retaliate. When all is well with our soul, and we then hear from God that we are to ‘Go indeed’ in love, to the person, we need to make sure that God has communicated the same idea to our offender, through a soft, receptive heart. If He hasn’t, then we need to hold off because to manipulate another into confrontation is wrong and should be postponed until it fits smoothly into place.
When the time is right Go to your brother/sister, and if you can make your point without offending, God has definitely blessed the moment. Accept forgiveness if need be, extend grace and take action to re-establish your relationship quickly and efficiently. If there is still a refusal to listen, Jesus, in Matthew 18: 16, goes on to say to take two or three others along to establish credibility in the content of what is said and to prevent slanderous accusations from being presented to the congregation. Truth can never be established with one word against another. Lies are never honored by God, but I have seen Him turn a lie around to bless a humble spirit that didn’t deserve the malignment they received. I love how He does that!
A major offense needs to be dealt with and if church leadership has to become involved, it might get ugly, especially if a church has to take action against an unrepentant heart living a sinful lifestyle! Jesus’ idea of Discipline by exclusion is rooted in the conviction that God’s people are to be holy and that sin corrupts fellowship between people and between the people and God. The goal of such action is neither vindictive retribution or a display of power, but rather restoration of the wayward to holiness and fellowship.
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