1. Victoria
    May 29, 2016 @ 2:14 PM

    Another great post, Annette.

    This passage is the core of Biblical conflict resolution, upon which the whole Restorative Justice movement is based. The concept rests on the recognition that ‘crimes are sins against people’ not against a nameless, faceless ‘state’ therefore, as often as possible, the conflict should be resolved at the most personal level possible. The passage shows a pattern for escalation, should the initial one-on-one approach prove unfruitful.

    The only difference in interpretation is in Jesus’ command that the unrepentant offender being treated like a gentile or tax collector. I too, had always heard that as being an instruction to avoid the offender. But the concept of “justice that restores” reminds us of how we are to treat those who are not ‘brothers in Christ’ by ‘loving them into the kingdom.’ Which I think you pointed out by recalling that Jesus was often found in the company of sinners, and even brought tax collectors into his closest circle.

    You also mentioned that in most cases, conflict arises by the actions of both the victim and the offender. That being the case, the ‘mediation’ step (taking along someone else) really does require that those listening to the issues of both sides be neutral to both. Because of that, a successfully mediated conflict generally requires a ‘give-and-take’ response by both parties–it is rarely a matter of one side giving over completely to the desires of the other.

    • avincent
      May 29, 2016 @ 2:26 PM

      I definitely agree that the solution needs to involve accommodations from both sides. Often the “loving them into the kingdom” part is VERY difficult. Especially when the hurt is egregious and prolonged. But that is exactly what Jesus did for us. The least I can do is try. With His help.

  2. Victoria
    May 30, 2016 @ 3:08 PM

    “The least I can do is try. With His help.”

    Truth be told…that’s the BEST any of us can do. 🙂