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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

November 7, 2012 - Squash the Beef

By Alex Bryant

I was reading Matthew 18 and thinking about Jesus' guidelines for dealing with a brother who has sinned against you. Here are the verses that lay it all out.

"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. But 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.' 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" (Matthew 18:15-17, NIV).

So, basically, if we have a beef with a person, we learn to follow a four-step progression.

1. Go to them and try to work it out. Go to them by yourself and clearly tell them how they have offended you. Don't text them, don't tell other people and try to gain a lynch mob of supporters, and don't ignore it and stew over it and let it build up in your spirit. Go to them!

2. If that doesn't work, go to them again with a mutual friend or two. Try again to talk it out. Sometimes having a third party to mediate can help keep tempers cool and can help each side see the other person's point of view.

3. If this still doesn't work, tell it to the church. I think the best way to follow this command is to bring a spiritual advisor into the mix to help mediate and render judgment of who is right and who is wrong. Sometimes when we try to work things out with a brother or sister, we just won't agree. But when you bring a pastor into the mix, you at least will get a fair and honest judgment and then you have to be willing to live with the outcome. Sometimes it's obvious that both of you are wrong and you just need to amicably go your separate ways.

4. If the person refuses to try and work it out, disassociate with them. This is what it means to treat them like a pagan or tax collector; you don't have anything to do with them. Go your separate ways, without malice in your heart, because you know you have done all you can in your attempts to reconcile. And notice, this is the fourth step in the progression, NOT the first step.

Too many people are afraid of conflict and immediately go to the final step without trying to reconcile according to Jesus'. That's not the way God instructs us to do it.

Do you have some differences with a brother or sister? I hope this helps you squash the beef. Life is too short to keep enemies! Take these steps, and see if God can help you and your fellow believer restore your relationship.

— Alex Bryant serves as college and young adults pastor at First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Fla.



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