"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. 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.' 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."
I cannot imagine this being carried out in today's church. Conflicts in the church are rarely discussed directly, in my experience. Everyone talks about it, but rarelyto it. The heading of these verses in my Bible is 'Dealing with sin in the church.' I think it is safe to assume that where there is sin, there is apt to be conflict. Thinking about these verses, I am going back over years of petty conflicts in our church, some of which had powerful negative results. What do I learn this morning? I believe we should all do everything in our power to forgive, mend and support each other. I cannot allow sin to lead to conflicts and destruction of anything positive, if I am in a position to prevent it.
Holy Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, I pray. Help me to heal conflict, not add to the flames. Amen