I usually don’t write like this, but it’s heavy on my heart. Here’s a challenge to the church…

Why do people continue to talk amongst themselves rather than going to others directly when there is real or even perceived conflict, sin, offense, or misunderstandings?

I’m not alone in this, and I’m not writing with any hidden agenda; I simply want to remind readers about the concept of Matthew 18:15-17 and how this is so often neglected, even among leaders in the church today.

Here’s the deal. As your brother in Christ, if I offend you, if I sin against you, if I do anything that you think is wrong behavior directed to you, you have an obligation to talk with me about it…

15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense.

If you approach me and I understand the sinful behavior to the point of repenting and apologizing then you have won me over, as the Bible clearly says…

If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

If I don’t listen to you, you are to bring a couple of others with you as witnesses and give it another try; the idea is reconciliation, not punishment…

16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

If that still doesn’t work, in other words, if I’m not seeing how I wronged you and I’m rebelling against you as my brother or sister in Christ, you then take the issue to the church and let the leaders of the church deal with it. Again, this is for reconciliation, not punishment. It’s a genuine attempt to regain and establish unity in the body of the local church…

17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

So, I expect, based on biblical instruction, that you would approach me directly if you think I’ve done something to wrong you or the church. And likewise, if I see that you are sinning against me or harming the church I would hope to have the courage to approach you, in love and honesty, as scripture clearly states.

Who’s offending you? What have you done about it? Are you talking about the offense with others and neglecting to follow biblical principles?

Let’s stay united, let’s be willing to trust each other through the message of the Gospel to compromise nothing of the Gospel. This includes having the guts to actually call each other out when something wrong is going on, and doing this face to face!

Church – we need to get this right. Others are watching, wondering where Christ is in our lives. We have division happening in our churches. We have apathy in this area of unity and it’s just wrong. We tend to think we are a healthy church because we “talked about it” but seldom do we actually go to the source (the offending person) directly, or sometimes we delegate a messenger to talk to the offender. We seem to care more about what time the Sunday morning service is done rather than engaging is life-changing reconciliation and encouragement through God’s Word and Spirit. We can not sweep this behavior under the rug. And, this starts at the top – leaders must be willing to demonstrate this important aspect of the Christian life and reflecting the person of Jesus in our actions, including myself.

Trust God, trust his Word, trust his principles. Let’s unite, take risks, and do it all in the name of multiplying disciples of Christ who desire to make more disciples! Make it real!

4 thoughts on “You Wronged Me, I’m Telling Somebody About It!

  1. This is all too prevelent in our society. It does carry into our relationships amoung our fellow christians….. Good words B….

  2. I think there are also two other aspects of this issue that need to be addressed.

    1) As the offender, even after I have been approached and tried to make things right, I have still had people running to other people. This is even worse because as the offender, my apology and my actions to correct the situation were not considered adequate so that leaves me at a loss as to what else to do.

    I am also at a loss when the offended individual(s), then proceeds to close the door not only to my relationship with him/her but also takes action to close a door to relationships with other people. To me, it comes off that I really have not been forgiven. To me, it also comes off that I am not teachable/ correctable and it is assumed that I am just going to do the same thing over and over again. Please don’t make that assumption about me or anyone else.

    2) All of this also applies to our relationships with nonbelievers as well.

    1. Wendy – This quick blog was intended for the church but we definately need to be in harmony with not-yet-believers too. Addressing point 1 – if you have been sincere in your apology, confessed your sin and asked for forgiveness then you should not carry a burden. However, reconciliation is not always smooth and easy. Without going into details of your situation I would encourage you to rest in God’s promise of forgiveness and not put so much weight on the human condition/response to feel freedom. Kudos to you for apparently receiving instruction and admonition in the past regarding your actions – God is pleased with that 🙂 And remember, do all things for God, not man (Colossians 3:17, 23). -B

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