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 ESV]
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 or gossiping when we are offended.
Going to the source of our disappointment and heartbreak can be so hard to do.
Sometimes the people we are called to confront can be difficult to talk to.
Often we have to summon every bit of courage just to talk to them.
Perhaps this kind of reconciliation is the only way that healing really comes to us?
The passage is not so much a process to follow but a glimpse into the mind of God.
The words speak to us not so much of discipline but about healed relationships.
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.The focus is about God's concern about the interpersonal relationships of his children.
take one or two, Jesus is stressing our need for accountability.
tell it to the church, he is telling us about the importance of reconciliation.
Lord, forgive me when I gossip about my pain. Give me a heart of reconciliation.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.