I have a fairly simple way to determine if I should be part of a conversation. Two questions:
- Am I part of the problem?
- If not, am I part of the solution?
Here’s my view – If I’m not part of the problem, nor part of the solution, then I don’t need to be part of the conversation.
If I’m part of the problem, then, of course I need to be in the room, or on the call, or doing whatever is going on to be part of resolving the issue.
If I can truly help resolve an issue, then I should be part of the conversation.
But if neither of those apply, then I’m probably staring gossip in the face.
Matthew 18:15-20 tells us how we should resolve issues.
If I have an issue with someone or someone has an issue with me, I’m both part of the problem and solution. I need to go talk to THAT person first.
If that does not resolve the issue, then we’re told to take one or two others to be witnesses. These are NOT people you’ve already gathered to “your side” of the problem. They are to be people who care about both people involved in the issue and are there to be witnesses of the conversation with the hope of bringing reconciliation. This is NOT an intervention.
If that does not resolve the issue, then we are to take it “before the church.” In our modern day large “churches” you will rarely see this done, however, when the gathering is smaller, this can be done well and, as always, in hopes of bringing reconciliation.
So, there are several ways I may not be part of the problem but be a legitimate part of the solution. I can go as a “witness” or I may be part of the “church.” Otherwise, if someone comes to me outside of these instances and wants to “just talk” about someone else, then my first response is to point to Matthew 18 and encourage them to go talk to the person they have an issue with first. Then if they need a “witness”, I’m happy to go – but know I’m not on anyone’s side – my hope is reconciliation, not necessarily determining who is right and who is wrong. Often both people involved are usually “right” about somethings and “wrong” about other things – the truth is usually found somewhere in the middle.
Today’s Good News is there is a fairly easy way to see if you’re stepping into gossip or not. If you’re not part of the problem, nor the solution, then don’t be part of the conversation. Instead, seek to help bring biblical reconciliation. This is a much better use of your time and words, and you’ll likely restore your friends’ relationships in the process – and that’s Good News!
More writing here – https://shatteredbythegospel.com/
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