Matthew 18.21, 22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
In our everyday lives, we have occasion to cross paths with many other people. Sometimes those paths are smooth, sometimes not so much. Forgiveness is in order.
Someone cut you off on the road? Forgive. Your husband/wife sounded disrespectful? Forgive. Your sister forgot your birthday? Forgive.
Do we simply forgive each and every time, and go about our business as if nothing happened? Sometimes that is the wise route to take.
The Bible also says, Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matthew 18.15-17
So sometimes we are to sit down and discuss things with others. If there is a relational problem, we must seek to solve the matter. Whether it be friend-to-friend, husband-wife, parent-child, siblings, co-workers, church relations, or others; if we have continuous relations with someone, we need to work things out.
God is a God of relations. We are to relate to each other in a Christian sort of way. If we are angry, we must be certain to discuss in love. If that’s not possible due to emotions, then set a time and place when all parties are able to set emotions aside.
We are to be accountable to one another. If one person is running roughshod over another (and perhaps does not even realize it), s/he should be held accountable. Again, Matthew 18.15 tells us to go and tell him his/her fault. But be sure to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4.14, 15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.)
And keep all things in prayer. The Holy Spirit will guide you in all things: timing, setting, spirit, words, and body language. Pray with the person you need to confront, or pray with a trusted friend. If needed, have a trusted friend sitting by as you have your discussion; the friend will provide accountability.
Matthew 19.19, 20 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Proverbs 27.17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Sometimes a third party is needed. Godly counseling is also indicated: Proverbs 15.22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established. Proverbs 19.20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 1.5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
Pray God for wisdom and discernment. Read God’s Word, learn of Him.
Proverbs 1.1 – 7
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.