“Between Thee and Him Alone”
Matthew 18:15 “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.”
Years ago, I was manager of McDonald’s in two different locations. Whenever a conflict arose with an employee, I clung to Jesus’ wise exhortation in Mt. 18:15. It was not always easy to follow, but the Lord blessed as the crew greatly appreciated not being publicly humiliated. The result was that a number of my employees eventually trusted Christ as their Savior, were baptized, and attended our church! We also were blessed to post some of the best drive-through times in the areas I worked.
The principle that every Christian, spouse, and parent should learn from Mt. 18:15 is two-fold: go to the specific person who has “trespassed against thee” and go to that person “alone”.
- – Most of the time you see husbands complaining about their wife to their coworkers, and wives critiquing their husbands to their lady friends, and parents hashing their children’s dirty laundry to other parents, and children/teens ridiculing their parents to their peers. None of that is going to the person you have a problem with. And you know what? The conflicts never get addressed and fixed that way. The issues only become worse. You must go to the person you have the conflict with.
- – When you go to the person you have a conflict with, you must do it privately. No one likes their “faults” (from the verse) being spread publicly. Jesus knew that the best conversations and conflict resolutions are done in quietness without possible embarrassment, public interference, or peer pressure.
Parents, you must chasten and reprove your children in a private way. Your child’s flesh may make this difficult with cries and groans. Your simple one doesn’t fully understand yet the importance of privacy or the damage of public interference. But as their leader, you must obey Christ’s exhortation in Mt. 18:15 nonetheless.
Husbands/wives, your spouse may not fully comprehend the urgency and necessity of privately dealing with conflict, but you must obey Christ’s wisdom nonetheless. Your marriage will be all the sweeter for keeping any “faults” private. So remember: go to the one who has trespassed against you and go to them alone