"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15)

A child gets into a scuffle with a sibling and they immediately run to mom or dad and complain – “He said this to me” or “She won’t share with me.” As good parents they try to reconcile the situation in a way that the children learn to play right and to work out differences on their own, and of course, stop running to them with incidental differences.

In God’s plan for his spiritual siblings, he does not call for an immediate appeal to higher authorities. Instead every interpersonal problem must be worked out at the lowest level possible. The lowest level in a relationship is one on one.

What is very fascinating about the Christian faith is the indwelling of God-the-Holy Spirit within the being of a child of God. This makes reconciliation, without question, a sure thing, if each party

defers to the Spirit. Whenever there is a difference the Spirit-filled believers willingly does what is immediately foremost – Listen! As we related as a family in our God and Savior, let us listen to

the concerns of one another.

Listening requires you set aside preconceived ideas or judgments and convey a message of

acceptance of the person. (Les and Leslie Parrott II, Questions Couples Ask,1996.)

--E.C. Malone 11/02/14

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