When you have a problem with something what do you do? Over the past few weeks with our FCA students I have been talking about how we are on the same team as Christians and should be edifying and encouraging one another to closer relationships with Christ and to being bold in sharing about that relationship.
However, with any team we run the very real fact that we are not always going to see eye to eye and that we are not always going to get a long. And because of this the Bible gives us clear guidelines on dealing with confrontation. While the passage in Matthew 18 is mainly about dealing with those who have fallen into sin and confronting them about their sin, I believe that the model given is also the proper way to handle personal divisions and differences. Especially the very first part of the model which is taking the issue directly to the person that we have it with.
This is an area that we fail so often at as Christians. When have a problem it seems that we bottle up our issues, run from them, or often tell everyone but the person we have a problem with. And even more sad its not just the Christian teens and kids that are bad about this, adults are often the worst offenders. Those of us that should be setting the Biblical example on dealing with confrontation for younger Christians fail miserably. Through these actions we destroy our own testimonies and sometimes inadvertently and other times very purposefully seek to destroy the testimonies of those we feel have offended us.
So what are we going to do about it? First of all, I think we have to remember as I started out saying in this blog post that we are on the same team. Our goals should be to be bringing honor and glory to God in all that we do and to be encouraging our brothers and sisters to do the same. Then when those situations come up where we have disagreements or have been wronged, we need to act Biblically by first going to the person we have the issue is with and in the right attitude be honest and open with them about the situation. If this does not resolve the situation then we get mature Christians to join us in trying to work out the issue. And if not then resolved we are to go to the Church.
So, let’s stop tearing down our fellow brothers and sisters through grudge bearing, running from problems, and slander stop and think do these things bring honor and glory to God? Do these things build up and encourage my fellow Christians pushing them towards a closer relationship with Christ? Am i setting a Godly Biblical example for younger Christians who look up to us, no matter what others have done? Do I truly care about the testimony and spiritual condition of the person I feel offended me. If you find yourself in any of these situations and you can answer no to any of these questions, please stop and take a look at where you find yourself. Go deal with the person you have a problem with, truly seeking in love to restore whatever fellowship has been broken. And I am not trying to be preachy, but also very aware that this is something that I have had to and will again have to apply in my own life.
As I have been going over being a team player and being committed to edifying each other with my FCA students I have just really been convicted about these truths and how I have to always make sure they are applied in my life. Even in difficult divisions let us seek restoration of fellowship that brings true glory to God!!!