This week, in part three of the “Bro-Code” sermon series, we talked about how to “judge your bro”. I won’t attempt to recap the sermon here (podcast available here), but in short, even though Jesus warned us about judging others, he also laid out a plan and procedure for properly dealing with a bro (or sister) that has wronged us. Here it is:
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.- Jesus (Matthew 18:15-16)
I wouldn’t think of modifying Jesus’ words. I think his plan still works just fine. I do think I probably should add these warnings/suggestions as it seems that over the years church folks have REALLY struggled to get this right.
If you feel the need to “point out the fault” of someone you barely know…someone you have NO relationship with- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
If you find yourself “pointing out the faults” of those OUTSIDE of the church, and ignoring the faults of those INSIDE- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
If you find yourself ENJOYING “pointing out faults” instead of recognizing it for the grave and painful RESPONSIBILITY for those we LOVE- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
If you don’t have the err…guts…to “point out the fault” of someone personally (one on one), but jump directly to Facebook or twitter- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
If you notice tiny “specks” in everyone else’s eye, yet fail to recognize the giant 2×4 sticking out of your own skull…yeah…Jesus Said it- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
If your “pointing out the faults” activity is causing shame and resentment from those OUTSIDE of the church, instead of lovingly helping to create an attractive, loving, and accountable community INSIDE the church- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
Hope that clears up any confusion. :-)