The readings today could be seen as the Lord’s teaching about conflict resolution; what do you do if someone does something wrong to you? How is a Christian to handle it?
Firstly, put the complaint into words, too often we keep it inside, bottled up & on a slow burn. We pretend to overlook it, but we don’t really, it is deep inside, building up pressure until there’s a volcanic explosion. If someone does wrong, bring it out in the open, state it & face it. The Lord says that we should keep it private, so often in conflict we speak to everyone about it except to the person involved. We gossip, slander, complain, engage in detraction rather than confront the person who needs to know. If you do this & the person doesn’t listen, we are told bring it to the church.
Sometimes, you need to bring in the Big Guns, the authorities. If the individual still doesn’t listen, then says the Lord, pray for them, but leave them to God’s justice, God’s judgement and God’s grace.
Conflict is not alien to the Christian Community or to the individual Christian’s life. But there is a way of dealing with it that doesn’t seek revenge, but the mending of the conflict & the other person’s return to God’s grace. That effort to heal the discord & the opponent is a way of showing mature Christian responsibility, even in conflict. We have a responsibility to others.
As Christians we have a responsibility not to not stand by & watch others destroy themselves, We show that responsibility by speaking the truth to them (Ezekiel), by respecting another’s life, marriage, property & integrity (Romans). We show that responsibly by seeking to manage conflict in a Christian way.
The point of today’s reading is that Christian love is not a feeling or an emotion, but a responsibility. The greatest harm we can do to other people when they face spiritual danger, is to do nothing or just look the other way.