“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
The last few weeks I have been writing about this idea of being real with one another. I wrote about the need for authenticity with God, with ourselves, and lastly I want to look at authenticity with others. This might be the most obvious of the list, and can be one of the messiest. It is one thing to say in my heart, I want the best for my friend. It is another thing when the best for my friend includes confronting them about an issue in their life.
Jesus lays out a model for us of what this might look like. It begins with what for many is the hardest, confronting them 1 on 1. Again when I talk about authenticity I am referring to saying what is so for you, even when it comes at a cost and allowing others to do the same. Just imagine a challenge with a friend. They tell you that they want to make their family a priority, yet you know they have been working long hours, and not engaging when they come home. If we are to be authentic with one another, it means having an honest conversation where you share your concern around this. “Tom, a while back you told me that you want to make your family a priority. It seems like you are working a lot of hours, and when you are home with your family you are not engaged. How do you perceive this?” And then listen, truly listen to hear what is going on with your friend or loved one. Your goal is not to fix, only God can truly change lives, instead your goal is to be authentic, and hold one another accountable, so that you might grow into the person God is calling you to be. My prayer is that you can be courageous as you seek to be authentic with yourself, and in your relationships with God and others.