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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

A Life of Grace...

Matthew 18:15-16 New International Version (NIV)

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c Mon. August 10 - Matthew 18:15-16

Facebook has become a forum to vent about and trash other people who we think

are bad or wrong. Unfortunately, I confess that I have fallen prey to this very

temptation far too often. But publicly broadcasting our grievances is the opposite of

God’s desired way of dealing with conflict and painful relationships. This passage is

sandwiched between the parable of the Lost Sheep and the Parable of the

Unforgiving Servant. That is very important to remember as we consider what Jesus

is teaching us here. He wants us to act in the most gracious, forgiving and merciful

way towards someone who has hurt us. In his Small Catechism, Martin Luther

explains that the 8th Commandment actually teaches that we should “explain [our

neighbor’s] actions in the kindest way.” So we gently and kindly engage them, try to

hear them out, let them explain what is going on from their perspective and forgive

them. This is hard, but it is the life of grace.

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