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Daily Living – Episode 38 – Chris Dotson

Daily Living – Episode 38 – Chris Dotson

Healthy Confrontation

Author: Pastor Chris Dotson

Read Matthew 18:15-17.

It doesn’t matter how close we are, how much we trust one another, or how long we have been friends – we all find ourselves at odds with other people time and again. This is understandable. After all, we are all broken and prone to sin. Not only is it natural to sin, but it is common to sin against one another. When we sin against one another, brokenness enters our relationships. No longer are we characterized by the love that Jesus speaks of in John 13, but instead we find our relationships characterized by conflict. The question is: what do we do when conflict enters our relationships? What do we do when someone sins against us?

It is these questions that Jesus seeks to answer in Matthew 18:15-17.

In Matthew 18, Jesus offers a paradigm for how to resolve conflict in relationships between believers. The steps he offers are not just suggestions, they are commands. What do we do when conflict enters our relationships?

First, Jesus tells us to address the issue in private without abandoning the relationship. Too often, we find ourselves leaving relationships or distancing ourselves from someone when things get too difficult. When hurt enters in, we would rather abandon the relationship instead of addressing the issue. Jesus says that we must first seek to address the issue with someone that is creating conflict in our relationships. This addressing should be done one-on-one, in private. This means that we must avoid the all too common tendency of talking about someone’s sin to other people as opposed to talking to someone about their sin. If this does not resolve the conflict, Jesus tells us to move to the next step.

If speaking to someone privately about the issue causing conflict in your relationships does not work, next Jesus tells us to bring another believer along in the reconciliation process. This confrontation again should be filled with grace and love with the goal of reconciliation in sight. If someone does not listen to your and another believer’s confrontation, Jesus says to then go to the  church. By this, he means that one should seek for the intervention of a third party found in the counsel of the local church.

Following these steps is the only path for reconciling broken relationships in the Kingdom. Skipping, ignoring, or minimizing this paradigm only leads to further disunity in the Church. May we be a people who are quick to follow Jesus’ way towards reconciling relationships.