“If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them” (Matthew 18:15-20, Common English Bible).
When ever two or three people gather many things can happen. This lesson starts off on the negative side of things. “When someone sins against you…” When you have two people together eventually there will be disagreement and difficulty. There is a pretty good chance that someone will eventually sin against the other. When that happens, there is also a pretty good chance that some help might be necessary.
The lesson says go take someone else or two someone elses (I know, it really isn’t a word) with you and talk to the offender. If that doesn’t fix the problem, we are to take it to the church.
But, I would submit to you, there is something else to consider. In my experience, when I am upset with someone and believe they have sinned against me, more often than not, I have sinned against them too. If we both have our two or three with us, we end up with the church. If we both have people who agree with us, we just might end up continuing our stand-off.
What if, before we start to talk, whether it is with others present or just us, what if we were to pray together in earnest? What if we prayed together that God lead us to an equitable, realistic solution?
If we could agree to let God lead us, the lesson reminds us that God will do whatever we ask, WHEN WE AGREE TOGETHER. Jesus also reminds us in this lesson that when we gather, even two or three of us in His name, He is there with us. Could we really ask for more than that?
I can’t help but think, when we are caught in a disagreement, is going to begin with both of us in earnest prayer. When we pray, God is with us. We may well need another person or two who will help us in finding, in seeing God’s solution, but because God is with us, if we pray together earnestly, I know finding a real solution is more than possible, I can’t help but think it absolutely will happen.
How can God help you find resolution with another person?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved