Pursuing peace is golden but it is not done in an offense free world. Life is full of offenses. Your good and kind nature will not stop you from slipping occasionally into being offended or offending someone.
People who cherish peace, live it by properly managing offenses. The scripture we read from Matthew 18:15-18 is explicit on how to resolve issues of offences. When you are offended, firstly, you must go to the one who offended you and settle issues privately. You may be the one offended but in pursuance of peace, if the person fails to allow peace to prevail, then take another step by going with one or two other people to settle the matter. If it fails, the church can be involved.
According to this scripture, Jesus is encouraging us not to give up on our brethren because of offenses. The persistency in going to the one who offends you will enable you win the fellow back. The last part of the reading says if the offender is still adamant then treat him as someone to be avoided. Avoiding the offender here does not mean hatred. However, we continue to live at peace with them.
Paul admonished the church in Romans 12:18 that, “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. Who has offended you? What is your next line of action against them? Are you still considering a revenge? Bible teaches us to live at peace with everyone including our enemies.
As we conclude today’s devotion, let us reflect on these few questions. How many times have you gone to that brother or sister to settle scores with him or her?
Who went with you when your first attempt failed?
Would you have lost that friend forever if you had done what the Bible enjoins us to do according to Matthew 18:15-18?
Let’s reconsider our thoughts if the answers to these questions are not in the affirmative.