Saturday, February 20, 2010


Jesus gives guidelines in Matthew 18 on how to confront someone who has wronged you. The goal of these steps is to restore the relationship with that person. Keep in mind that while God does desire that you seek to restore relationships, He does not ask you to continue to accept wrong behavior.

Step One: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over" (vs. 15).

Step Two: "If he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses'" (vs. 16).

Step Three: "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector" (vs. 17).

The first step is to be done in private. The second step involves bringing along one or two spiritually mature friends, relatives, or a counselor. In the third step, you bring the matter to your church leaders and ask them to confront your spouse according to biblical guidelines.

Each of the above steps should be done with a spirit of forgiveness and patience. Give the Holy Spirit time to soften a person's heart so that he or she might respond correctly.

After Jesus gave the instructions above, Peter asked him how many times he should forgive a person who has wronged him.

"'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times'" (Matthew 18:21-22).

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