Discipline in the Church
Read Matthew 18:15-18
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (v. 15).
Sometimes our prayer meetings are nothing more than a time to get things off our chest. When we have been hurt we stand and declare it to the whole church, with an air of spirituality. After a detailed description, we sit down and feel so much better for sharing it and think God is pleased because of how much better we feel. This same sense of relief can be achieved by sharing our burdens with a friend or paid professional. People in the USA spend over $200 billion on mental health issues. While some of this is necessary, much is used simply to talk to someone about our problems. Christ said we are to cast our burdens on Him (1 Peter 5:7). What about when we are hurt by a brother or sister? We find clear direction in God's Word — go and tell him his fault! This is not with an attitude of lording it over the offender, but rather to make things right. An attitude of humility is needed from the offended party. Much damage is done to souls and even entire congregations because of not following God's way of dealing with those who have done wrong to us. By publically announcing the offense, we often cause the offender to put up a defensive shield. But, if we humbly approach the one who has offended us it often results in a repentant response. (Paul Clough)
A humble confession of hurt often leads to reconciliation.
This devotional is the Monday, August 14, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.