Text: Matthew 18.15
The first step in Jesus’ step-by-step plan to restore broken relationships in the church is to first go directly to the person involved. It’s what Pastor Manion calls “the two chairs.” When we’ve been sinned against, when a relationship is broken, it’s our responsibility to go to the offender in a spirit of meekness and humility with the goals of restoring the relationship and restoring the fellow believer to holiness.
But our tendencies are to either “bury” it, continue stewing over it, or talking about it with anyone but the person involved (the “Family & Friends Plan”). We tell ourselves it really doesn’t matter when—in fact—it does. Or we seek to build our team of allies as we discuss the offense with others. Neither of these approaches restores the relationship or honors God.
By going first to the person involved, and doing it soon after the offense, not only provides a great opportunity for restoration, but it also denies the opportunity for us to harbor bitterness and engage in gossip.
Today, as we continue to move toward holiness in this area, ask yourself this week’s One Big Question: Where do you find it most difficult to practice the “one-on-one” principle of restoration? Discuss with a trusted friend or around the table following dinner this evening.