If your brother sins against you

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.

I love the way that God's ways are so different than our ways. Sadly, each of us can relate to the idea of complaining, and even gossiping, when we are offended. Going to the source of our angst can be so hard to do. Sometimes the people we are called to confront can be difficult to talk to and we have to summon every bit of courage to talk to them. In a sense, this kind of reconciliation is the only way that healing comes to the body of Christ.

The passage is not so much a process to follow but a glimpse into the mind of God. In these few sentences Jesus presents an image of what reconciliation really looks like. When he says go alone he speaks to the sensitivity that is needed to restore a relationship. When he says take one or two Jesus is stressing the need for accountability. And when the Lord say to tell it to the church he is telling us that reconciliation is at the very heart of God.

Lord, forgive me when I gossip about my pain. Give me a heart of reconciliation.

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