maybe it will work

“If he listens to you.”

Jesus is talking about how to talk to someone about sin, someone in your spiritual family, someone who already has agreed to the house rules and is now bending or breaking them.

As we have seen, Jesus says to  talk to them.

“If he listens to you.”

We assume that people don’t like to be corrected. We assume that that, whatever the sin is, whatever the offense, the person meant what they did and want to persist in their behavior. We assume it because, well, because, um.

We assume it because we look in the mirror and know that we don’t like to be corrected.

But for many of us, most of the time, we are not planning to willfully pursue a flagrant disregard of God’s directions. In fact, for many of us, most of the time, a close friend, a spouse, a sibling, a child approaching us and saying that it looks like we have sinned and that they are concerned for us will cause us to stop.

We see the love. We understand what it took for this person to raise the issue. We know from the Holy Spirit gently poking at us that we are out of line, out of alignment with God’s desire.

“If he listens to you.”

Of course, it is possible in the conversation that we will discover that we have misread the situation, that we have misjudged the person. That happens, too, and we must be willing to listen.

What is most likely, however, after building a community of trust, that we will have seen rightly, that they will listen to us, and that their behavior will change.

“If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.”

If not, there is a next step.

Witnesses.

Tomorrow.