Matthew 18:20-24 – Discipline like Jesus

Do you ever see this in church?

If I am responding to my brother out of offense, I will be satisfied that my Christian brother should have to leave the group. But if I am responding out of love, I will be mortified if my Christian brother should have to leave the group – because my goal is to gain my brother, not lose him.

Mathew 18:16But 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. 17If 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.

For about a week I was looking at this verse and all I could see was gang mentality-peer pressure discipline. But that’s not what Jesus Christ calls us to at all. But doesn’t it go to show just how deeply I am prone to take offense when a brother sins against me, rather than love and serve the brother that sins against me.

Responding out of OFFENSE. When I respond out of an offense, this passage becomes about getting revenge. My motivation is to prove that my Christian brother was wrong by getting some other Christian brothers on my side. And if that isn’t enough I can get the whole gathering, or the leaders of the group to point the finger at my Christian brother. Then if he still doesn’t apologize he is boycotted and so I no longer have to put up with his insolence.

Responding out of LOVE. When I respond out of love, this passage becomes about gaining a brother. My motivation is to win my brother back into the common union we have in Christ. If I have already spoken with him about his sin and he didn’t listen, I discuss with his friends (in Christ) and gently come alongside him with hopes to show the truth so that he might walk in it. If he still doesn’t see the light, I can speak with the larger group, or leaders of the group to speak into his life, hoping that he would turn see his error. If he doesn’t he is disconnected from the group. This is the very sad part.

If I am responding to my brother out of offense, I will be satisfied that my Christian brother should have to leave the group. But if I am responding out of love, I will be mortified if my Christian brother should have to leave the group – because my goal is to gain my brother, not lose him.

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