Theme: AVOIDING ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Text: “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
Comment: It is a mark of spiritual maturity to approach your brother who has offended you to tell him his faults. This is good as it promotes peaceful co-existence. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18) But there are some people who will rather harbour grievances in their minds, resulting in the unchristian attitude of hatred and malice, which could lead to other evils if not checked. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering”, exhorted St. Paul. He added: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. …And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:12-15) As children of God we are advised to settle our differences as they come so as to allow the spirit of God to dwell in us. It is dangerous to one’s health and spiritually to harbour grudges in our heart. St Paul admonished; “Brethren, be not children in understanding: Howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (1 Corinthians 14:20.) On the other hand if our brother fails to appreciate the correction given to him, we should bear with him and pray for him. The Bible says: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:18; see also 1 Peter 3:9.