Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ezekiel 33:7–11; Matthew 18:15–20

A person in our church was complaining bitterly and threatening to leave the church. His power and influence were waning and he was lashing out. After prayer and reflection, I decided that confrontation would escalate the situation into a polarizing fight. Instead of confrontation, he needed space. Like a child throwing a tantrum, he needed to cry it out and regain his composure. His friends in the congregation and I made an effort to give him space. We tried to avoid reacting defensively, prayed for him and maintained our friendships as best we could. I had made a judgment call about judgment. As the apostle Paul said, "If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Rom. 12:18).

 

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