"...go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone." Matthew 18:15b
Someone has done or said something which has
offended you or bothered you in some way. The Bible says to go and tell
him his fault, but you don't want to do it; it's too difficult.
So you start brooding about it. You begin
rehearsing what he has done, how he was utterly in the wrong. When you
should be working, your mind is going over all the details, and your
gastric juices become sulphurous. When you should be sleeping, you
resurrect the unpleasant incident, and the pressure builds up in the
boiler. The Bible says to go and tell him his fault, but you just can't
face up to it.
You try to think of some way in which you can get
the message across to him anonymously. Or you hope that something will
happen to shame him for what he has done. It doesn't happen. You know
what you ought to do, but you dread the trauma of a face to face
By this time, the ordeal is harming you a lot
more than it is harming him. People can tell by your glum appearance
that something is bothering you. When they talk to you, your mind is
off in another hemisphere. Your work suffers because you are
preoccupied. In general, you are too distracted to be effective. And
the Bible still says, "Go and tell him his fault between thee and him
alone." By a tremendous display of willpower, you have refrained from
talking to anyone else about it, but finally the pressure becomes
unbearable. You break down and tell one person—just for his prayer
fellowship, of course. Instead of giving you the expected sympathy, he
says, "Why don't you go and talk to the one who has offended you?"
That does it! You decide to bite the bullet.
After rehearsing your speech, you obey the Word by telling him his
fault. He takes it surprisingly well, is sorry that it has happened,
and asks your forgiveness. The interview is terminated by prayer.
As you walk away a great load is lifted from your
shoulders. Your stomach quits churning and your metabolism returns to
normal. You kind of hate yourself for not having had the sense to obey
the Scriptures more promptly.