Evening Devotional, 24 June 2024

Evening Devotional, 24 June 2024

Monday: Understanding Conflict and Reconciliation

Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:15-17

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Reflection: Conflict is an inevitable part of human relationships, even among believers. Jesus provides a clear process for addressing and resolving conflicts within the church, emphasizing the importance of direct communication and reconciliation. Tonight, consider a recent conflict: What was the root cause? Did you address it directly with the person involved, or did you avoid confrontation? Jesus’ model encourages us first to seek private resolution, preserving the dignity and relationship of all involved.

Reflect on the steps outlined by Jesus and how applying them might change the outcome of your conflicts:

1. Direct Discussion: Initially, address your grievances directly and privately with the individual. This step preserves relationships and often resolves misunderstandings quickly.

2. Bringing Witnesses: If the issue isn’t resolved one-on-one, involving one or two neutral parties can help mediate and provide perspective.

3. Church Involvement: For unresolved matters that affect community health, bringing the matter before church leaders can help ensure that all efforts toward reconciliation and righteousness are made.

4. Last Resort: If reconciliation fails despite all efforts, maintaining community integrity and personal boundaries becomes necessary, as Jesus instructs.

Application:

• Consider a current misunderstanding or conflict where you might apply these steps. How can you approach this situation with a spirit of humility and a desire for reconciliation?

• Reflect on how you respond to being approached by others when you are in the wrong. Do you listen and seek to mend the relationship, or do you become defensive?

Prayer Focus: Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to handle conflicts with the wisdom and love that Jesus demonstrated. Help me to be honest and direct in my dealings with others, seeking reconciliation over being right. Give me the humility to accept correction and the courage to seek forgiveness where I have wronged others. May Your Spirit guide me in all my interactions, that I might be a peacemaker and a true disciple of Christ. Amen.

Use this time to not only reflect on the principles but also to consider practical ways to implement them in your life, transforming how you handle conflicts to foster healthier, Christ-centered relationships.