If Your Brother (or Sister) Sins against You

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Matthew 18

So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. “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.

Matthew 18:14-17 ESV

Yesterday we looked at not causing someone else to stumble or be offended by our actions. Today we will look at what to do when someone else sins against us.

Earlier this week I had someone ask me how to handle a conflict she was having with a sister serving in her church’s children’s ministry. I’m copying my answer here in hopes that it will help you, too!

When a sister in Christ has hurt you, you should approach her with gentleness, humility, and love. Begin by speaking words of genuine encouragement, such as, “I’m so thankful for your service to our children. I appreciate you teaching the children to sing and worship. I want us to work together in a spirit of unity and love.”

Examine your own heart and motives. Often we see pride in others more easily than we see pride in our own hearts. Love thinks the best of the other person. Don’t assume that her motives are wrong.

Sometimes the women that I’m working with or leading are too eager to speak words of complaints or criticism, but slow to offer help. I love it when people come to me with offers to help!!!

Here are some other passages you can read to prepare for a difficult discussion with a brother or sister.

Leviticus 19:17-18
Proverbs 27:5-6
Colossians 3:12-17
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a
Ephesians 4:29-32

Here’s a link to a bunch of wonderful downloads from Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom

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