My Daily Journal:
Being a member of the body of Christ is not a life of diplomacy. Diplomacy is all about building a coalition. It is about operating from a position of strength. It is about dealing with others in a way that doesn’t hurt their feelings.
We like diplomacy. You’re OK, I’m OK. Can’t we all just get along? Personal freedom. We take these words and stretch them into excuses to avoid confrontation.
When we do need to confront something, we start by building our coalition. Recruiting others to our side to present a position of insurmountable strength.
But this is all wrong. If a fellow member of the body of Christ is sinning seriously against another, I am called to approach them individually. Listen to that again. I am called to approach them individually. Not to discuss it first with a bunch of different people to build my coalition. Not to ignore it and hope it goes away or somebody else deals with it. Not to just accept it and avoid conflict. I am called to approach them individually.
I don’t like that. I don’t really want to do that – I like conflict avoidance. But I don’t need to worry or avoid this. First, the entire responsibility never rests on me. If the person doesn’t listen to me, then we simply advance to step number 2. There is no huge burden or failing on my part, it just moves to include 2 others.
Even then we still don’t need to worry. The promise about binding and loosing isn’t just a grant of authority to us as the church. It is also a reminder that when we are gathered prayerfully with 2 other believers to trust in God fully, then Jesus is there and God’s will is being done. Anything we do is only what God has ordained and allowed. I need not worry or feel burdened if I rely and trust on God whole-heartedly.
I still don’t like it, but Jesus didn’t like being tortured and put to death for my sins either. That helps put it in perspective.
All parts form one body. If one part is honored, all rejoice. If one part suffers, every part suffers.
1. approach individually, 2. approach with 2 others along, 3. approach with and through the church, 4. if not, remove from the congregation until they repent and change ways
Compassion and love
To win them over, to bring them back into a state of not sinning
Bind as in a binding contract. Loose as in to set free from bondage. We can set people free from sin and bind them to an inheritance of grace through faith
through Jesus Christ – wherever 2 or 3 gather in His name, He is present.