Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Conflict management

Matt 18:15-17: "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

Jesus’ ministry was one of restoration. In fact, the reason God took the form of a man was to reconcile Himself with the sinful world. It was through the blood of a sinless sacrifice that Jesus would bring reconciliation and restoration to this dark and sinful world. The Gospel of John, in the first chapter says that Jesus came to a dark world; “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Jesus had a mission and that mission was that of reconciliation. We as Christ-followers moreover, have a mission and that ministry is that of reconciliation. That is why we are compelled to share the good news with people, because we have a desire to have people reconcile with God. We are, in addition to reconciling people to God, we are called to reconcile people with people. Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. As such, we are to bring peace among others.

Jesus desires that there be no issues or quarreling among the brethren. He desires that we are living a harmonious relationship with those in our lives. If we are not living in harmony with an individual we should do all we can as Christians to remedy the situation. If there are friends, family, or even strangers that have offended us we need to try to rectify the situation in a way that is biblical and humble. Jesus gives us extremely sound advice for approaching people who have wronged us. It is also important to note that if we have wronged someone we need to go and ask for forgiveness. But Jesus was teaching His disciples that if someone has sinned against you need to go and tell them in a humble way. Not to point your finger in their face and say “see what you have done”, but rather do so in such a way that restores the relationship. Jesus said if someone offends you, go to them. If they refuse to hear you go to them again, but this time take someone with you to help sort out the situation (we may find out we were the offender). Then finally, if they refuse, take it before the church and ask the leaders to help in the restoration process.

When someone sins against you they may be unaware of the offense. They may be blinded by their sin and need to know that through their blindness they hurt someone. They may also be in rebellion which is an area that God needs to work on to soften their heart. God wants restoration in our relationships. We are to also seek that for ourselves, in order to obey Jesus. Seek peace with those in our lives in order to fulfill the words of Jesus. Romans 13:8 says, Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. We are to be in debt to people, we owe them our love, the love that is seen in 1 Corinthians 13.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Exod. 13-15 New Testament Matt 19:1-15

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