And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
May 14, 2021
Yesterday we considered the first two parts of dealing with broken relationships with fellow believers; today we will consider two more.
Once we have the proper perspective, we must seek out the biblical procedure of restoration. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for our trespasser to come to us; we go to him lovingly, privately, and humbly. If there is an opportunity for restoration, forgive him freely, fully, and finally. If there is no restoration, come back with fellow brothers or sisters in the faith. If he still refuses to listen, go before the church, as Matthew 18:17 instructs.
Excommunication is a heartbreaking last resort reserved only for those who are stubborn in their own ways, who will not hear the brother, the committee, or the church that has tried to speak truth in love. It is important that we love the unrepentant offender, but we do not let him poison the fellowship. We cannot let him hurt and distort the cause of Christ.
Take time to think about the broken relationships in your church. How is God calling you to follow the biblical method of restoration rather than respond to conflict in a worldly manner? If you know you need to restore a specific relationship, follow through immediately.
For more ways to spend time in God’s Word, check out the devotional books in our store.