“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend.”
I find this verse hard to live out. I would rather just ignore when someone hurts me and pretend it didn’t bother me. I cringe when I know that I need to discuss an issue with someone. Recently our pastor had the Core Leadership Team go through a teaching on the need for crucial conversations. The training was invaluable in learning how to work it out in relationships when you’ve been offended.
Jesus’ teachings were given to help us learn how to restore relationship whenever possible. Jesus doesn’t teach us to lash back, get back or stuff it. Jesus tells us to confront the person who hurt us. Confront; not in a hurtful way, but in a way that conveys the offense and still gives the message that you are trying to work it out. I read a great book years ago, called The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The basis of this book is in line with this verse in Matthew. The book was written for dealing with conflict in the workplace but applies to all relationships. It teaches that when you have conflict with someone, you should not ignore it but immediately confront the person for one minute explaining the issue. The premise is that if you don’t quickly confront, the tendency is to let offences pile up and then it is often too much work to work it out.
Follow Jesus teaching and learn to gently, but honestly, in private work it out with those around you.
Father…help me to live out your teachings, even when I find them difficult. Help me to be able to tell people when they hurt me in a way that treats them as your child, while not skirting the issues. Help me to be able to speak in ways that will work it out with those who have hurt me. May your blessing be over my relationships. In Jesus Name…Amen