Fools rush in #4. “Trust me!

Fools rush in #4. “Trust me!

I believe it is a sacred honour to be asked to help brethren to reconcile their differences. When things go well, the Lord is praised, and everyone rejoices. But when things do not go well, the Lord seems to be instantly shut out, and no one goes home any happier.

On one occasion things went badly and I was made to feel very unwelcome by one of the parties concerned. Though I was invited by all, it became obvious that I was about to learn the meaning of Proverbs 26:17 the hard way:

“Like one who takes a dog by the ears

Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.”

Never will I sit down with brethren thinking that I have all the answers. People disagree for their own reasons and the ones out in the open aren’t necessarily them. It is too easy to assume that the first to the table with tears must be the one in the right. Proverbs adds this warning to any would-be counsellor:

“The person who tells one side of a story seems right,

until someone else comes and asks questions” (Proverbs 18:17).

James commands believers not to show partiality (James 2:1). People who display traits that most resemble our own tend to be those we favour. Thus, churches must go out of their way to assure that everyone is listened to equally. God called Israel’s Judges to fairness in all their judgements:

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly” (Leviticus 19:15).

Reconciliation can only take place when all parties want it. The best you can do to help is to ask God to fill everyone with love, humility, and wisdom.

Trust me, with these in place, peace, friendship, and progress will follow.

John Staiger


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