“And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
- Matthew 18:17
Jesus gives us the final step in reconciliation with those who we know have sinned against us by word or action. The first step is to go alone to that person and if you are not heard, then you return and take witnesses with you.
If the person is still not willing to forgive or seek reconciliation, the matter is then referred to the leaders in the local church. A seemingly drastic decision is made and although seemingly drastic it must be remembered that these are the instructions of the Lord Jesus.
The person who refuses after all these attempts at a reasonable reconciliation is then to be viewed as a heathen and an outsider of the faith. It seems obvious that such a person has not been born again and has a hardened heart towards God.
It is possible to profess love for God, His word and His church and yet not live according to his requirements. Jesus’ way is always the right way and it is important to follow Him in all that He requires of us. Today choose to do all things according to Jesus’ way.
Dear God and Father thank You for showing me clearly how to conduct my life and live in perfect harmony with others. I ask You to be merciful towards those who refuse Your counsel according to Your word. Help me not to be resentful, judgemental or critical, but at all times to seek to walk in love and forgiveness, in Jesus’ name.