Discipline is not the “final straw” where judgment is pronounced.
Biblical church discipline is a culture of accountability, growth, forgiveness, and grace that should permeate our churches.
Each member of the church has a responsibility to help others as they struggle with sin – not through judgment and criticism, but rather with gentleness and an eye toward restoration, knowing that he too is subject to temptation (Gal. 6:1).
Matthew 18 does not describe some kind of alternative to litigation; it is a primer on how we lovingly engage one another, patiently exhausting lesser steps (for example, going in person) before moving to greater ones (for example, taking it to the church).
Questions for Reflection
- How do you think of Church Discipline? Does it have a negative connotation to you?
- Do you have a culture of accountability, growth, forgiveness, and grace in your church?
Table Talk Magazine, August 2013, pg 25.