Jesus knew we would have trouble with each other. Afterall we’re people. He addresses a strategy in Matthew 18
Step 1= Vs 15 If a brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.
Most of us fail right here. We start by mulling it over in our own mind. Then we tell our three closest friends, our mom, and the hair stylist. After that, we replay in our heads how the fight will play out.
Or even worse we post a passive aggressive status on facebook that isn’t directed toward anyone but tells how we’re feeling. Like…”some people need to learn how to say sorry” Not only is doing that immature and frustrating and breeds insecurity in your friendships. But, I am confident it is not the way God wants us to handle things. Don’t just put it in a quote and say its song lyrics.This destroys community.
The scripture says simply, if he sins against you, go show him his fault just between the two of you. I can imagine God saying..that should take care of it.
Step 2= vs 16 If he will not listen, take one or two others with you.
I believe that this means, you ask someone you trust, someone who can see both sides, who is godly, and can kind of serve as the mediator. You ask them to come with you because you desperately want to make right what’s wrong between the two of you.
Step 3= vs 17 If the offender still refuses to listen, then tell it to the church. If the church can’t convince him of his fault, then treat him as a pagan or tax collector.
The best part of this scripture is this, Matthew is writing down what Jesus is saying: treat him (the offender) as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Let me remind you in Matthew 9:9 Jesus saw a man sitting at the tax collectors booth and said Follow Me. His name was Matthew, the man who is recording what Jesus is saying.
When I read that passage, I think, oh if someone offends me and won’t repent, I can treat them as a pagan and a tax collector. I think Jesus is saying, there’s no getting out of this guys. Even when you’ve done all you can, the worst thing I’m allowing you to do, is stop calling that person a Christian, and keep beckoning them to follow after me, keep loving them, keep associating them, keep calling them friend, keep showing them my grace and my love, because many of them are entering the kingdom of heaven ahead of you.
Good friends commit past disillusionment.