By REV. TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTOR
(Transcribed by Myra D. Colgate)
Cherokee Pentecostal Holiness Church
(Continued from last week). Read Matthew 18:15-35
Now there are some people who can be mean, mean enough to have actually intended to offend the person angering them. When they may have intended to, and one first goes to them, their anger may keep them from listening to anything one says. They are more inclined to stick to their own way of thinking. Has anyone here ever dealt with someone like that? Am hoping it was not in a church setting, but how many know a lot of people have been hurt in a church? And, there may not even have been any real call for anger.
When that has happened, here is what one should do. The very next thing they should do is take one or two others, brothers and/or sisters from within the church, who are able and willing to talk with them.
So, let me explain to everyone how this works. Don’t run and get your family to go with you. Find somebody whom the individual who offended you actually respects. Does that make sense? Why? It’s because it shows it’s not to be done as if you are coming there against them. It should show them that this person cares enough to set up an equal playing field for them, so to speak, so that each can be comfortable enough to sit down and just talk it out.
If done properly, then they have to realize, too, that, “maybe I was out of order, or out of line, and I do want to get this fixed.” And, it is so much better to see what God can do, when we are willing to give God and His Wisdom a chance by allowing Him some room to show up in the midst of our own situation. All individuals should definitely be led into a better, more comfortable, frame of mind and ready to cover all their “bases.”
Now, thirdly, if that way hasn’t worked, come with them into the office setting at the church.
(Here’s what one doesn’t do. Don’t arrange for it to happen on a Sunday morning. “One’s anger could cause them to stand up and declare, ‘so and so’ offended me and we now want to have it dealt with.” No, this means we would be bringing things only to the leadership of the church privately for a satisfactory resolution for these individuals.
When done in this fashion we all can sit down together and talk it out, right? People in leadership can work with them together, teach them, train them, counsel with them, until all can come to a reasonable understanding between these two individuals that’s acceptable to both parties.
If this won’t happen, here’s what the Lord has said to do. They’re to be treated as anyone else placing themselves outside the church fellowship and “invited to move on,” if that should be one’s decision.
How many here have actually been in a church that actually did this? This is the Word of God, right? Somebody says, when “so and so” is offended, and the leadership has done everything they can, and they still want to move on, let them move on. Go right ahead because it could make a difference in fellowship. Let me show you what offense does. Are you ready? Let’s look at Verse 18 of Matthew, Chapter 18.
So let me make a statement. Offenses will come, yes, they will. Right? They do. But, you had better get over them quick, because if you harbor it, it’s a sin, and it’s a felony in the eyes of God. As it’s a sin, it’s because it takes the Power away from the church until it’s resolved to Heaven’s satisfaction.
Somebody gets offended and if one doesn’t deal with it properly, the whole church suffers. Yes, Amen. This is directly because we’re trying to bind up things and loose things and nothing’s happening, alright? Everybody here has an opportunity to be offended. Do we all see this? Yes, Lord Jesus said it. But, woe unto him through whom the offense came. There’s a woe attached to it. What does that mean? That means an unforgiving and unrepentant spirit has begun to operate and will continue until that something has been dealt with properly. How many of you have ever ridden a horse? Just as ‘whoa’ means “stop”, just as a ‘woe’ can mean “everything stops.” It will stop blessings. It’ll stop healings, It’ll stop anointings. It can stop everything. Believer’s should not become offended with each other and certainly cannot remain that way. Each member should be dealing with anger or possible unforgiveness so nothing stops the Blessings, the healings, and the anointings.