In chapter 13 of his book, Tom Holladay juxtaposes the twin issues of fellowship (the one anothers) with forgiveness (what to do after people have been at one another’s throats). He says that fellowship is not just being around each other, but being willing to let others in. And sometimes that brings out opportunities for forgiveness.
What do you do in your small group when two people aren’t getting along? Or, when maybe one of those people is you? Jesus says we must forgive. Maybe not trust right away, or maybe not forget, especially if trust has been broken. But forgive. Give up the anger and the resentment and the hurt pride or feelings by giving them over to God. While that’s the right first step it’s not the only one if the conflict has been public or the issue continues. You can’t sweep under the rug something that has been out in the light. It keeps crawling back out in unfortunate ways. Fortunately, there’s a path for reconciliation. In Matthew 18:15-17 the Bible describes the right way to deal with conflict. If something is going on in your small group that needs forgiveness and reconciliation, don't try to handle things yourself unless you're a very experienced, trained peacemaker. Contact your Community Leader. They can lead you or your group through the process for reconciliation. God wants relationships restored. Take the first step and do the right thing. When the two parties have been knit back together by the healing power of God your group will have witnessed what can happen when God is brought into the middle of disagreement.
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