“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. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:15-18
Relationships are messy. Relationships that do not address the mess are bound to end in utter ruin. I do not like that awkward conversation that comes into play when there is some kind of fault between myself and others. Even more so, I loathe it when relationships go from discord to destruction. All men will experience tension, but how we push through it makes the difference.
Accountability is how to navigate relational challenges. Note the progression in the passage above. If you are offended, don’t go and tell someone else. Speak directly to the person offending you. Notice that the goal here is not rubbing it in their face, the goal is to gain your brother. That is an outcome I can get behind. Other measures are to be taken if the first attempt is unsuccessful, and there may come the point where relational brokenness is a reality. But the consequences are felt both here and on earth, so we should not take tension lightly. Seek to gain your brother, push through the awkwardness with humility, and follow God’s recipe for conflict.
DO THIS TODAY: When in conflict, humbly seek to gain back your brother.