Thursday, December 15, 2016

Go to Him

“Go to Him” by Baptist preacher R. N. Davis was printed in The Baptist Progress, February 15, 1951, and appears here as later printed in The Baptist Waymark.

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Matthew 18:15.

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:23, 24.

The Scriptures quoted above are plain enough that there should be no misunderstanding about what should be done when a brother does a brother wrong. The one wronged is to go to the other alone and tell him his fault. That is clear.

In the second place, the one who does the wrong is to go to the other. This is also clear – no room for any one to misunderstand what to do when wrong has been done by brethren.

IF brethren would do as the Lord says, the one doing the wrong and the one wronged would meet in the way, each going to the other for reconciliation.

The purpose of going on the part of each is made clear. The one wronged is to go to the other and talk to him alone with a prayer and hope that he can gain his brother. In the other case, the one who did the wrong is to be reconciled to his brother. The desire upon the part of each is to win the other. A very important thing to consider is the spirit - the manner - in which brethren are to approach one another. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Gal. 6:1. There is no question about this. Brethren should approach one another in the spirit of kindness, courtesy, respect and humility - this with the purpose of settling the difference between them.

There are some things we should observe that the Scriptures referred to do not say.

They do not say, “Write a letter to thy brother.” They do not say, “Send him word by another.”  They do not say, “Go to some other and talk to him about the matter.” The Scripture is plain, “Go to the brother himself and talk to him.” Too often brethren talk to everyone except the one concerned. Brethren whisper in the ears of others and pledge them to secrecy, when they should be talking to the brother involved.

The one question is, will we do as our Lord said and reap happy results, or will we do it our way, the way of the human will, and stir up strife, heighten the ill feeling among brethren? Better go according to the Scriptures and do right.

Some brethren act as if they never owe anyone an apology when they do them wrong. They seem to have the idea that their wrongs are different somehow. Some act as if the right way is to “just let it pass.” My brother, when we do a brother wrong, we owe him sincerely offered. It is Christ-like, Christian, and we the part of a Christian unless we do it.

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