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. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” – Matthew 18:15,16.
Comment: Our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ used the text under reference to set the stage for dialogue as a means of crisis resolution between two or more people. This significant admonition by the Good Master, to his disciples, is necessary for all Christians who desire to live harmoniously with people. It is indeed true that the Scripture has given indication that, “it is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”. (Luke 17:1) And it is also true that when these offences arise they could be resolved amicably. This underscores the importance of dialogue between people. Dr. Henry Brandt in an online article “Escaping Difficult Situations” says: “You can either have a wonderful time underneath your skin, or a miserable time underneath your skin, and it’s all up to you. The question is: Do you want to experience true peace, or are you more content with being angry, with bearing a grudge, with complaining, with being cranky?” To interface with each other is the basis of King Solomon’s admonition when he said: “Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another.” (Proverbs 25:9) Dialogue makes room for peace and for bygones to be bygones. Theories on conflict management reveal that fairness, concession, apologies, retractions and forgiveness are essentials for offences to recede. See Ephesians 4:31, 32.