Living life as a believer (follower of Christ) is not meant to be theoretical. Jesus’ intention is that we actually seek to incorporate His teaching into the decisions, attitudes, and actions of our daily lives. This understanding gives a tremendous amount of relevance to Jesus’ words in today’s passage.
For example, we are given very clear directions on how we are to respond when we are wronged by another believer (vs 15-17). The goal of the process is to resolve the conflict and restore the fellow believer involving as few others as possible. The sad reality is that too often we are guilty of nearly reversing the process. Too often the person who has sinned against us is the last person we speak to about the sin, that is, after we have expressed our hurt to numbers of others.
Our hesitancy to follow the Biblical mandate is that, frankly, it takes guts. But living life as a Christian is not easy. Going mano y mono with another believer on a potentially sensitive issue is hard, but it can lead to greater unity in the body.
Here’s our challenge. We can not say anything to anyone about another person, especially a believer, who has wronged us until we have first followed Jesus’ process for restoration. (This includes prayer requests.) And our desire each step of the way is for restoration. By the way, if the person responds appropriately, we are to never speak about the issue to anyone!
Following this one teaching can transform our lives as well as our fellowship and unity in the body. Just be ready to respond appropriately in case you are on the receiving end of the process!
Today’s author: Monty Pierce