Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gently Restore

Another question to ask ourselves in time of conflict, "How can I help others to understand how they have contributed to the conflict so that we can be restored to one another?" Here are some Biblical steps to take:

Go in Private
  • Step One: Forgive minor offenses (Overlook). A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11).
  • Step Two: Talk privately to reconcile personal offenses and resolve material issues (Reconciliation and Negotiation). 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 (Matthew 18:15).
Go with Others
  • Step Three: Take one or two others along (for Mediation or Arbitration). 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 (Matthew 18:16).
  • Step Four: Tell it to the church (Accountability). If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (Matthew 18:17).
  • Step Five: Treat the other person as a non-believer (Accountability). And if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:17-20).
Throughout the Process: Forgive and restore the repentant.
Whenever someone is moved to repent, the sinner must be immediately comforted with the good news of God’s forgiveness. It can be as simple as reading one of the many Scriptures that proclaim God’s forgiveness. Personalize the passage by inserting his name in the verse, as shown below:

“[Name], Christ himself bore your sins in his body on the tree, so that you might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds, [name], you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

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