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Blessed Are The Peacemakers

November 8, 2011

What does biblical conflict resolution look like?  Because listen, we all know that conflict is coming for us.  And truthfully, we all know that we are going to be the ones bringing conflict to the doorstep of others.  This is what sinners do.  We offend, we betray, we let each other down, we fall short on our commitments…and we do it all the time.  This is who we are.  And the Scriptures are clear when they say, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). 

 I hope you’ll take a moment and read through Matthew 18:15-19 and then check Matthew 5:9.

 Some of us are going to read through that passage in Matthew and think, “There’s no way I’m going to do that.”And listen, I completely understand.  It’s not comfortable, it requires effort, and there must be hope for reconciliation…all of which are often the last things we’re looking for in a situation where we have been sinned against.  Seriously, it sounds like it will take away critical amounts of our “sit around sulking, talking about them behind their back” time.  It will require a sacrifice on our parts.  And all of these are things that Jesus not only told us…but demonstrated for us.

 Look at verse 15.  “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”  So we don’t get to rally a group of our friends and talk bad about them.  We don’t get to blast them on Facebook…or whatever preferred social network we choose.  We’re supposed to go to them and speak face to face. 

 Now look at verse 16.  “But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.”  The obvious fact here is that Jesus understands humanity.  He knows that our pride, even when we know we are wrong, even when we are confronted face to face with our offense, will often prevent us from asking forgiveness.  But again, this is not an opportunity to scream to the masses of how wrong the offender is…the motivation is not justice…but reconciliation.  This is why Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves.”  There must be willingness to give up some of ourselves. 

 Verse 17 says, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”  Again, keeping in mind that the motivation here is reconciliation, to “gain your brother”, calling them out during the worship service is probably not the most effective method.  I mean, just being honest, I can’t imagine that would prove beneficial if restoration of a brother is what we’re aiming for.  Jesus is talking about taking it to the elders, the overseers of the church, in order that they might step in, come alongside, and aid in the process of healing the relationship. 

 Jesus knew something about being sinned against.  He knew exactly what was coming for Him.  And listen, the mob is one thing…He knew the betrayal by one of His boys that He would face.  He knew of the denial that one of His closest friends would use to distance themselves from Him.  He knew that you and I, the ones who would sin against Him, would resist the call to be reconciled to Him.  And what did he do?  He was willing to give up His rights and lay down the sacrifice of Himself for the sake of reconciling us…the sinners…to our Creator.  This is the example for us.  This is what an unbelieving world finds completely unbelievable…perhaps if we demonstrated it for them in real life, they would understand?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 9, 2011 10:21 pm

    Nice blog!

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