Matthew 18:15 (ESV)
15“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
For whatever reason, Christians seemed to have decided to bypass this scripture. In fact, author and pioneer, Pastor Trevor Chandler says, this is “…probably the most disobeyed verse in all the bible.” Instead, we harbor bitterness, we talk to other people about it, we gossip, we criticize, but seldom do we go and see the one with whom we have the fault.
Jesus was clear, that so much could be won in going straight to the person directly so that the matter might be resolved. Here is I think the often missed point. It doesn’t have to be as hard as we think. Here are some really quick steps to resolving issues like this.
- Begin with your heart. Are you out for revenge? Then pause, and make space for the person in your own heart. (Check out my recent message on this).
- Get clarity from your self. Am I telling a victim story? What part do I play in this?
- Get clarity from them. So much can happen here. Go with a humble spirit, ready to listen and understand. Use a question like, “Help me understand…?” Then listen, express appreciation no matter the outcome. Perhaps you agree to meet again. Perhaps they apologies (or maybe you do). You don’t control their response, only yours.
Early Christians were known for among other things, their ability to forgive. So should we.