Thursday, October 16, 2008

Matthew 18:15-18 "Confrontation"

Read Matthew 18:15-18.

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you." NIV
How often are we looking for a 3-5 step process in the Bible that will show us how to get out of a problem situation? But the Bible deals more with relationship than a process. Here we are actually given steps to take when sin occurs between brothers/sisters in Christ. Unfortunately, we are so much better at gossip than we are at confrontation. It just seems to come naturally to our desire for self-preservation. If we confront, we may have to deal with hostility or just someone not liking us anymore, and no one wants that. Maybe that's why God wrote down the steps so clearly.

So how are we to handle confrontation? Directly, humbly and in love. Remember, this is talking about a Christian brother or sister that you are confronting that has wronged you. We're family(which can actually make the sin more hurtful), but we must preserve that relationship at all cost, as well as, help each other out of sinful choices.

"Directly" comes from this passage. Go and show him his fault. Putting it off can only make things worse. Of course, depending on your personality, you may need a little buffer time to prepare your heart and attitude so you are acting not out of selfishness, but love.

"Humbly" is how we should approach anyone who has sinned. We must always filter our hurt through the fact that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Except for the grace of our Lord, I would be drowning in sin. I am not perfect but on a process of perfection just like my brother/sister. So with the same grace that I was afforded by our Lord, I should give to those who sin against me.

"In love" is my heart position. Love is patient, kind, ...keeps no record of wrong. Love preserves a relationship because we are united in Christ. Therefore, we should always try to mend the broken pieces of a relationship.

The reality is that the person may not be sorry for sinning against you or even believe it was a sin. (That's when you head to steps two and three.) But even though it takes the sad turn of unrepentance, you will have done what you could to preserve the relationship and their soul. This is the hardest part of all -- leaving someone to the sin they have chosen. But if we have taken the steps with a right heart and attitude, we will have done all we could do. The rest in the Lord's hands.

Further Thoughts:
  1. How did David handle Saul's sins against him? Read 1 Samuel 24 and 26.
  2. How did Jesus handle Judas' sin against him?
  3. Is there someone you need to confront? Don't wait. Pray and then go. The Lord will give you the right words to say.

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