It isn’t always easy, this thing we call the Body of Christ. The church is well described with the old ditty Chuck Swindoll used to quote: “To dwell above with saint we love, oh that will be glory. To dwell below with saints we know, well, that’s another story.” Ever feel like that toward another believer? What should we do it we truly have a dispute and feel we have been deeply wronged. Matthew 18 may set the table, but Philemon shows how the meal was served!
The Epistle to Philemon
“Ten Steps to Repairing a Breach between Believers”
- Acknowledge the injured party – don’t bury the offense in love. (11a).
- Recognize the value of the offender as well as the offended (11b).
- Bring the parties face to face (12a).
- Put your heart into their restoration, this is not simply an intellectual exercise! (12b).
- State the rights of the injured and enlist their insights to the solution (13-14a).
- Offer the injured party the means to respond willingly in the repair of the relationship (14b).
- Look for and express a Heavenly perspective if you can, God was at work in this relationship even in the difficult times (15-16).
- Be direct in asking the parties to forgive each other (17).
- Be willing to serve in the restitution of the relationship, it may cost you something, but the payoff is a restored relationship (18-19).
- Anticipate the best in the parties, encouraging them to act responsibly toward the Word of God and the relationship (20-21).