“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.” vs. 15
From the beginning of the church, broken relationships have been a part of life in community. Harsh words are spoken, feelings are hurt, and before long members are at odds with one another…and sometimes it can get pretty ugly. It’s not surprising then, that the disciples called to mind words that Jesus had to say about these kinds of situations. For him, forgiveness and reconciliation were paramount and he wanted his followers to take particular steps to bring about healing and restore wholeness. Step number one was obvious! We are to go to the person we’re having a difficulty with and talk to that person directly and honestly. It’s amazing how hard it is for us to take this simple step. Often we will do anything to avoid direct communication, and instead resort to what can be called “triangulation.” Instead of talking to the person with whom we have the issue we’ll bring in a third party…or even a fourth or fifth. It seems we’d much rather talk about another person than to actually talk to that person. The result is predictable…gossiping runs rampant through the congregation and soon the whole situation is out of control. How much better it is to do as Jesus advises. Direct conversation is one of the hallmarks of healthy faith communities, and is always a key to reconciliation in any context.
Thought for the Day: When has direct conversation paid off for me?