Passage: Matthew 18:15~20  

Keyverse: 15

Sin thrives when it is kept secret, ignored, or tolerated. Shame often keeps sin a secret from others and fear of confrontation may keep it ignored or tolerated. But when sin thrives, it destroys people’s lives from the inside out and spreads to others like a virus.

Jesus says to confront sin. He gives a proper way to do this. One should not talk to others and spread rumors and gossip, but talk to the person who sinned, just between the two of you. The goal is repentance and restoration, not shame or to point out wrongs as the Pharisees did. It must come from love and care, not from a place of power over someone.

Others can help, and if necessary, the whole church can offer support for the one person. To know that all care for even one person’s life is a powerful act of love when done right. Repentance can really only come through the personal acceptance of God’s love and mercy. Sometimes we must let go of our own desire to change someone and pray for God to work. The prayers of the church are powerful.

Prayer: Lord, you are the healer of those wounded by sin and shame. May we be agents of your love and mercy to others as you have shown love and mercy to us. Give us courage to confront sin and to pray for those who are in sin and shame.

One Word: Confront sin with love.