“Conflict Resolution By Jesus”
BIBLE READING: Matthew 18
So many of the worlds problem would be solved if everyone simply followed the pattern that Jesus presents here in John 18. Why is it when we find out someone has been overtaken in a sin, we feel the need to make sure we let everyone else know what they have done? It has happened to all us in some way, whether we be the offended or the offender. Then, after we broadcast the news to our close contacts, they feel the need to broadcast the news to their contacts and so on and so on. Before you know it everyone in town is familiar with “the incident” and your chances of reaching that person has just dropped to the eye of the needle status. There is much wisdom in the words of Christ here, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17). Your chances of reaching the erring person are greatly increased by addressing the issue between you and them. That one on one conflict resolution should reveal to the person your genuine concern for their soul and spiritual well-being. By broadcasting their dirty laundry to the rest of the world, in their minds, you may have tainted their opinion of your motives. It is only when they do not listen to the one on one contact that you are to solicit others for help (not ammunition). Finally, if they still are not willing to listen to the genuine love and concern for their soul, the matter is handed over to church. The reason for this final step is three-fold. First, you open the door for more people to pray for the soul that is erring. Then, you also reveal to the erring soul what benefits they will be missing from not having the fellowship of their church family. Finally, by treating them as a Gentile or tax collector, you are protecting the faithful brethren from falling into the same trap as the one that is lost. Wow, isn’t Jesus smart! We would be so much the wiser if we only followed His pattern in everything He offers.