Friday March 11, 2016
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.”
People have feelings. If you push someone the wrong way, they will react, but if you handle it properly you can prevent a flood of anger. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Relationships are too precious to mess up. Something so small can turn into a huge conflict just because someone says something the wrong way or lashes out a little anger on someone else.
Matthew 18 is a great guideline to preserving peace in relationships. Early in the chapter, Jesus warns us that we need to be sensitive in how we deal with children and those who are lost. If we cause someone to stumble because we can’t exercise love, we’d be better off never even coming into the picture. Then in verse 15, we are told to deal with strife privately and reconcile if possible. But, if you can’t reconcile with that person, then it would become appropriate to bring other people into the picture. In verse 16 it says, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” So, if you can’t reconcile with a person privately because the other person isn’t willing, then other people should get involved. Towards the end of chapter, we are told to be forgiving of others. If we don’t forgive our brothers for what they’ve done against us, God will not give us grace. God has given us so much grace that we should be compelled to extend that grace to anyone else who offends us.
Being someone who usually won’t say anything when strife comes up, I realize that I need to heed the words of Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath.” Often by not saying anything, I have stirred up strife in itself. Either by not being forgiving or showing an attitude of anger towards someone, I have non-verbally communicated something in opposition of love. I have come to understand this about myself recently. Simply by opening my mouth with a soft answer, I can prevent a lot of confusion and anger among others.
Prayer: Help me to be more open with my brothers and find people I can trust and begin building that trust with them.