THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: Mending Bridges
READING: Matthew 18:15-20
KEY VERSE: Matthew 18:15
"If another member of the church sins against you, go and
point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the
member listens to you, you have regained that one."
COMMAND: We are commanded to deal with conflict. We are not
to leave things unresolved even if it takes a confrontation to resolve
it. We are not to avoid, deny or pretend that there is no issue.
RESPONSE: The listener needs to make a decision to deal with
conflict rather than avoiding conflict, denying it or pretending there
is no problem.
We are challenged today to deal directly with conflicts, not to leave
issues unresolved. Jesus tells us to “Go” and to “Point out the fault
when the two of you are alone.” Jesus commands us to be direct, to get
to the point.
For many of us this challenge pushes us way out of our comfort zone. We
are distinctly uncomfortable with conflict or direct confrontation. We
may prefer to deal with it by ignoring the conflict, denying the issue
and, perhaps, avoiding the person. Jesus is asking us to do something
that we don’t feel like doing. So this is going to be the topic of our
Think of a conflict that you are avoiding. Take a piece of paper and
write down all the reasons that make sense to you for not dealing directly
with this issue.
Then write down the reasons that make sense to you why you should deal
with this issue.
Finally give all of your reasoning to Jesus. Picture yourself sitting
down with Jesus and telling him your reasons. Then ask Him for his
wisdom. Then listen. Write down what you hear, sense or see. After
doing this you may find yourself better able to deal directly with issues
that demand resolution.
copyright - George Hartwell, 2002
Page by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2002 - 2005
please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these resources.