The right things

First Reading: Ezekiel 9:1-7, 10:18-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 113
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

In one of my previous jobs, I used to have to supervise many people. While there were many aspects of this that I loved such as training and supporting the staff; there was always one aspect of supervision that I never did like. This was having to confront and reprimand my staff who did something wrong. While this was extremely difficult with my workers, it was even more difficult with my fellow colleagues. It is never easy to confront those we work with, or those we are friends and family with. I know that for many of us that when we do need to confront somebody, we are definitely stepping outside of our comfort zone. But as followers of Christ, we are called to confront those who sin against us no matter how comfortable we are.

In the gospel today, Jesus tells us "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone." So we are told, when someone sin against you confront them and do it discretely. I am a huge advocate of the rule "praise in public, criticize in private." One of the reasons that I think that this is a great rule in our professional and personal lives is that this is how we would like to be treated. I think that by treating people this way; we are then treating them with the dignity they deserve. The gospel also goes on today to tell us the process of how we should continue to confront this person. Then if going through all these steps is not working and the persons will still not listen or stop, then sometimes separation is necessary. I often wonder which is harder to deal with, the confrontation or the possible outcome?

When talking about confronting people in situations that we know are not right, things are always easier said than done. But in these situations, one thing that always gives me good insight is the following quote: "Doing what is right isn't always popular, doing what is popular isn't always right." Remember, we are not called to easy lives, we all have crosses that we must carry at times. Many times confrontations and the outcomes of those confrontations are crosses that we will have to carry often. Always remember to turn to Christ for the peace and healing that you need during these times.

He is always there for us, I pray that we will never forget this.

Father above, we thank you and give you praise for our lives and all that you call us to. We ask for guidance and wisdom in all our relationships, and pray that you use us how you will. Lord, we pray for all those who are struggling to find the courage to confront those individuals and situations that need faced. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. hi jimmie,

    regarding separation is necessary when after one has gone thru all the steps of confronting the other person...

    from my understanding is... perhaps separation is not necessary, but one of the options...

    because in Matt 18:17, it says that "If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church, and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

    Jesus himself ate with the Gentiles and the tax collectors. So, I was thinking, even as they are in this stage, that doesn't mean we should refuse the person, or separate the person from the community. But we should still continue to love the person.

    And believe that the person might realise one day that, what he/she is doing is wrong. Sometimes it takes time for the person to digest what is confronted, and they need the time to reflect upon it, with God in the picture.

    God will make a way in His time.

    But of course, when confronting, one should speak the truth in love, not harshly.

    As said in:-

    Eph4:15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

    Eph4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

    Prov12:18 Rash words are sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    Take for example, when a friend has a problem, and his friend tells him that "You have a problem, fix it!". Most likely the friend would feel depressed or think "Its MY problem, why would you care??"

    But if you speak to the friend saying, "Hey, this problem of yours, if you make an effort to try and improve, things would definitely be better for you. I'm saying this not because I want you to change, but because I want you to have a better life."

    That is what I gained when reading the gospel yesterday and reading your reflection. =)

    Do keep up your blog. I love it very much. I myself just started this spiritual journey. Its good we can learn from one another, all for God. =)



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