That should be our plea to one another as brethren. Especially if something is on your mind concerning me, please, just talk to me. I’ve had brethren who have given me constructive criticism over the years and always it was appreciated. I may not have appreciated it at that moment, but when I thought it over, I knew they were trying to be helpful.
Often in congregations, people have different ideas and opinions over things. They feel strongly about some things and wish others would respect it. The problem often is, they don’t know about your ideas, opinions, feelings, etc. The reason is because you or I have never told them. Often we don’t want to cause a fuss or anything. That can be worse if we feel so strongly over something that we start to feel resentment and then that can grow to words said that shouldn’t have. We are all afraid to offend. We must get over that to maintain the health and unity of our congregations.
Matthew 18:15-18 is a good passage to look at in this situation. Now, this scripture, admittedly, is for private offenses, but the principle can be applied to others. If there is a problem, private or public, communication is warranted. Problems can’t be fixed if one or more parties are in the dark about it. They may not see the problem or offense. Instead of letting it irritate us or build up resentment, why not just go speak to our brothers or sisters? This is the scriptural remedy. The more comfortable we become with each other, the more we will be unified and better equipped for the works of the church. The devil loves when we don’t communicate so that he might help cast confusion and doubt on the situation.
Sometimes, as the minister, one party will come to me about a situation that is troubling them. I am glad to serve in any way, but, wouldn’t it be better if each party might contact the one(s) that the issue is with? Whenever there is a middle party added, the more chance for a misunderstanding is added. No matter how hard I try, sometimes something is lost in the translation. When we speak to one another, we can see the other’s expression and sincerity. I can’t convey that to others.
I do appreciate when people reach out to me because it shows that they care and want everything right. I would just say that we should cut the middle guy (me) out and go to the person we need to talk to. I’m here to help, but there are Biblical and proper procedures that we are to use. God bless….Chris

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