Privately Rebuke a Brother and If He Repents Forgive Him – Matthew 18:15, Luke 17:3-4
Matthew 18:15 (New King James Version)
15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Luke 17:3-4 (New King James Version)
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him.
So many times in the Christian life a person flesh can rise up or a difference of opinion or in teaching can arise and people can hurt each other. We are all works in progress and the enemy loves to have to brother's fall out of sorts with each other.
May of us do not go back to the brother and take them aside and tell them how they hurt us. May of do not take the time to be honest with our brother and instead go and tell others what a jerk that person is and when people we tell agree we say in self righteousness that we have to forgive them, but we are not going to hang around them anymore because they have to learn a lesson.
Last night I had to take a person aside and rebuke him for trouble that he caused in my life by bringing a person that hates me to my sanctuary and place of worship with the express intent of seeing me get unhappy and lose control of myself. When this brother was asked if that was the reason he had brought the enemy of mine to my church he laughed and agreed that it was the reason.
This cause me so much distress and even though the man that hates me left after six weeks I was annoyed that this person only invited him with the express intent of hurting me and making a fool of me in front of people that love and respect me.
When confronted he denied that this was the reason and would not repent and admit that this was the reason saying that this enemy has a right to worship anywhere he likes and that he invited him to his church for a change and it had no way of getting me upset.
After church we went out for a coffee and I confronted him again in the presence of the man that had told me about his motive and who had seen him laugh and after a few minutes of protest he conceded that he had done it maliciously as I claimed and asked me to forgive him. I told it that it was okay and asked him to please not invite him anywhere else that I might go in the future and keep it a secret.
I was having trouble forgiving this guy and I had tried to do it but it kept on coming back. Seeing him say sorry and ask for my forgiveness shifted my heart and I have re found my love for my brother and re gained the former respect I had for him.
This is a command of Jesus that we go to a person that has hurt us and let them know how they hurt us. If they repent we are to forgive them. Indeed if they continue to hurt us we are to continue to rebuke them in love and continue to forgive until our grace and love changes their behavior around us and others.
The Holy Spirit brings us conviction for sin and asks us to repent in private. Jesus does not go and blab to our pastor or other Christians of our sin but he approaches out hearts and asks us for an apology and for us to not do it again. Even when we fall again he privately comes and asks us to repent again.
Christians have big gossip clubs and are forever talking about the sins of to others, when instead they should be going to the people that hurt them and asking for an apology and quickly making peace. When you have unforgiveness it dries up your walk with the Lord and your prayers stop being answered and when you continue in sin it brings sickness to your life.
Jesus has commanded us to do so and we should do this from this day on. Today I have also had to rebuke a very dear friend of mine that I hope to be ministering with in the future. It was a very long email and it clearly laid out what I felt and what the person had done and asked for repentance to be forthcoming. After writing this I feel a whole lot better as I know the person will be very sorry for what they did and it will clearly teach them what not to do n the future with me.
Jesus is a Master, He is the wisest on earth. We need to obey Him in this and so from this point on rebuke a brother or sister IN PRIVATE when they hurt you and you will win a brother back when they repent. If they don't repent you have the model to bring witnesses and so on.