Friday, March 30, 2007

What Should We Do When Someone Sins Against Us?


Every one of us is sinned against. It is a normal part of life.

Can you think of specific examples in your life?
- Your brother yells at you in anger
- Your sister arrogantly looks down at you
- Your classmate mocks you
- Your friends gossip about you
- Your parents treat you impatiently
- Your teacher critically judges you

Because of the sinful nature within each of us, we sin against others and they sin against us. It is sad to think about, but a reality of life.

What are we suppose to do when someone sins against us. In Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus teaches the following four steps:
1. Go to the person in private.
2. If he doesn’t listen, take one or two others with you and go to him again.
3. If he doesn’t listen, go to a leader in the church and get his help.
4. If he doesn’t listen to the church leader, the church should place the person under church discipline.

Scripture really does apply to real life. God has given us a clear guide to respond when sinned against. The question is will we follow his plan?

What are some common mistakes we can make? 1) We can neglect to take the first step. In laziness or fear we can neglect to even go to the person. 2) After step #1 fails, we can fail to take the matter to the next level. We can wrongly think we have done our part and the rest of the matter is up to God. 3) We can talk with the wrong people. We can talk about the matter with our friends (Scripture calls this gossip) or talk down about the person who sinned against us (Scripture calls this slander).

Someone is going to sin against you – maybe today or this week. Be ready for it. Commit to following the Matthew 18 principle and be ready to forgive the person as God has forgiven you.

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