It was while I was sitting in a room filled with strangers – other women serving in women’s ministry at their own churches – when one sweet soul explains a section of scripture, that I’ve know for years, in a fresh new way with an entirely different light. Matthew 18:15-17
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
So, how would you treat a pagan or a tax collector?
This is where she nailed me to the wall. I had seemingly misunderstood this piece. Jesus went to eat with tax collectors and pagans. He loved on them, showed them compassion all while laying their sins before them in such a gentle way that they could see them. We are to have a heart for those who don’t know Jesus. We are to gently speak God’s truth into their lives so that they can see their own sin without harsh condemnation; so they can see their need for our savior, Jesus.
A dear friend told me a few years back that we should only expect professing Christians to act like Christians, following Jesus’ commandments. We ought to expect that people, who do not claim to follow Jesus, will not follow the teachings and instructions in scripture. Why would they? So in this passage, if someone, whom we believe to be a follower of Jesus, refuses to repent and follow Jesus’ commandments, it naturally follows that we should then treat them as an unbeliever and do our best to love them to Jesus.
This is how we are to treat the unrepentant one who sins against us.