Our scripture this week is Matthew 18:15-20.
If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
Jesus tells us how important personal contact and communication is to understanding each other. However, He also speaks of the need to involve other believers if the situation is not resolved. Sometimes it’s necessary for others to weigh in on matters to be able to reach a solution.
How do you feel when someone asks you to get involved in a disagreement with someone else? Do you find it hard not to take sides? Jesus asks us to be ready as believers to help mediate disputes according to God’s law and the teachings we have been given.
Is it harder for you to ask someone to mediate a dispute in which you are involved? Like many other issues, we tend to think we can fix things ourselves, when asking for help is the right thing to do. Don’t be reluctant to use the gift of other believers when you reach an impasse, it may be the only way to solve the problem. Prayerful exploration of the dispute and the counsel of others you trust is what Jesus teaches us.
Loving Lord, we are sometimes disagreeable creatures, prone to argue and annoy each other. Help us to see the need for Your love in our lives and treating each other the way You have taught us. Amen.