Matthew 18:15-16 ESV
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 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.
When someone wrongs you it hurts and, if you’re like most of us, it makes you angry. There is a great desire to strike out in some way, even if its just in a kind of passive aggression. We want revenge! But Jesus will have none of it. Instead, we are to of in private to our brother and tell him his fault, and the goal is not to inflict pain, but to heal. Sin damages relationships. It creates barriers and breeds mistrust. Going to your brother seeks instead restoration. Now, if he doesn’t listen then you are charged to take one or two witnesses with you. This does NOT say two or three people that you have told about the sin. That is gossip and leads to more broken relationships, the very opposite of what you are seeking to heal! Witnesses have also seen the sin.
This is a hard thing to do! How do you get passed the desire to pay back, or extract your own justice? That is answered in Jesus follow up discussion. Peter asks how many times you are to forgive and Jesus tells him, essentially, every time. This means that when you confront, it is not to extract some form of pay back, but it is after you have forgiven. The resources to forgive others is to he found in your own forgiveness, for your offense toward God is far greater than any offended against you, and yours has been forgiven.
Lord, for the sake of healing would you grant me the grace to forgive and seek out the repair of any broken relationships in the church, that there would be no foot hood for the enemy, and nothing keeping us from experiencing your hand at work. Would you help us to root out any “sin in the camp?”