1/22/2023 重新開始、繼續努力 ~鍾卓權牧師
在三日前的會員大會中，有一位弟兄提起馬太福音 18章，15-17 節是說：「倘若你的弟兄得罪你，你就去，趁著只有他和你在一處的時候，指出他的錯來。他若聽你，你便得了你的弟兄。他若不聽，你就另外帶一兩個人同去，要憑兩三個人的口作見證，句句都可定準。若是不聽他們，就告訴教會。若是不聽教會，就看他像外邦人和稅吏一樣。」
這是我們解決人際關係差異的最好原則，其中列出四個步驟。如果一個人的行為阻礙了信徒與天父之間的關係，就需要採取以下的步驟。整個過程應該盡可能平心靜氣地處理。首先是一個人去悄悄告訴我們的兄弟/姊妹自己的觀點。很可能對方與我們有截然不同的看法。若我們能誠懇地說明我們的觀點使對方心悅誠服。如果不能就要另外找一兩個人(需要保持客觀和正直) 來作證。（申命記 19:15），目的並不是要證人站在自己的一邊，而是要讓對方體會到步驟的公平。
馬太福音 5:25-26，勸告我們要盡快解決問題。分歧的時間越長，解決起來就越加困難，會導致分岐加劇。我們覺得有必要指出他們錯誤的地方，要向對方解釋清楚，糾正錯誤。無論我們認為自己有多麼正確，事情的結局都難以控制，也不一定會對自己有利。除非討論沒有結果，否則不需要到教會去進一步處理。使徒保羅在哥林多前書 6:5節這樣問：「我說這話是要叫你們羞恥。難道你們中間沒有一個智慧人能審斷弟兄們的事嗎？」
Start Anew, Try Hard ~Pastor Bernie Chung
The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV): “Therefore, if you are offering gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” In other words, getting along with others is more important than serving in church or giving in worship. But what if our “neighbors” really have a problem with us that we think is unreasonable? How long should we ignore or tolerate it before we take steps to resolve our differences?
Matthew 18:15-17 also says: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Here lies the four steps based on good principles for conflict resolution. These steps should be followed if a person’s actions will hinder the believer’s relationship with the heavenly Father. The process should be handled as calmly as possible. The first step is for the person to go alone and quietly tell our brother/sister what is wrong. There is a chance that the other party may not agree or be convinced that there is a problem. If this really doesn’t work, the next step is to find one or two people who are objective and have integrity to testify and to confirm. It is vital for the witness(es) not to take side, thus ensuring fair and impartial treatment for both parties. (Ref. Deuteronomy 19:15)
Matthew 5:25-26 exhorts us to solve problems as soon as possible. The longer the disagreement goes on, the more difficult it is to resolve, leading to emotional swings that could become uncontrollable. We may feel strongly to explain and enlighten one another, and to point out other parties’ faults in hope to correct mistakes. Just remember no matter how right we think we are, things don't necessarily work out in our favor. Unless the discussion is fruitless, there is no need to go to church to analyze and deal with the problem. The Apostle Paul asks in 1 Corinthians 6:5: “I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?”
This passage reminds us not to show the whole church what was wrong with someone in the past, especially by bringing up “dirty laundry” at inappropriate times. Some issues never need to be “shared” with the entire congregation. By venting frustrations in an open forum, it causes harm unrelated to the issue. Deacons and appointed committee members can make appropriate decisions for the congregation and act as their advocates. If the issue at hand involves deacons, pastors, and brothers and sisters of the church, the witnesses should be more neutral. Remember—while we strive to be holy in God’s sight, Jesus wants us to love one another. If we reach to the point where the other side refuses to listen to the church, we can treat them like gentiles or tax collectors. In the biblical sense, the Gentiles and tax collectors chose to live like gentiles and tax collectors in the first place by disregarding God’s ordinances. However, we must never treat the Gentiles and tax collectors by imitating how the “Pharisees” treat them with contempt. We should treat them as gently as our loving God would, patiently waiting for them to return to our midst. May God have mercy on us. May we start anew and work hard in our effort to help those who are lost to be brought back to our Lord’s sheepfold because our Heavenly Father does not want anyone go astray. Amen!