Thursday, April 03, 2008

How do we know when to confront and when to quietly forgive and forget?

John MacArthur@ deals with the issue of confrontation. He provides six guidelines to help you know whether to quietly forgive or to lovingly confront. Let 'Em Know or Let It Go?

1. Whenever possible, especially if the offense is petty or unintentional, it is best to forgive unilaterally. (Ephesians 4:1-3, 1 Cor. 13:5, 1 Pet. 2:21-25; Mat. 5:39-40).

2. If you are the only injured party, even if the offense was public and flagrant, you may choose to forgive unilaterally. (Genesis 37-50), (2 Sam. 16:5-8), (Acts 7:60) (Luke 23:34).

3. If you observe a serious offense that is a sin against someone other than you, confront the offender. Justice never permits a Christian to cover a sin against someone else. (see Ex. 23:6; Deut. 16:20; Isa. 1:17; Isa. 59:15-16; Jer. 22:3; Lam. 3:35-36).

4. When ignoring an offense might hurt the offender, confront the guilty party. (Gal. 6:1-2).

5. When a sin is scandalous or otherwise potentially damaging to the body of Christ, the guilty party should be confronted. Some sins have the potential to defile many people, and Scripture gives ample warning of such dangers (see Heb. 12:15; 3:13; 1 Cor. 5:1-5). (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5).

6. Lastly, any time an offense results in a broken relationship, confrontation of the sinner should occur. (Luke 17:3; Matt. 5:23-24).

In his conclusion: "The only instance where such a conflict should remain unresolved is if all the steps of discipline in Matthew 18 have been exhausted and the guilty party still refuses to repent".

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