Straight Talk

January 25th, 2008 • Category: My Favorite Scripture
by Tyler Connoley

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 18:15-17 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):

Practically speaking, I probably refer to these verses more than any other passage in the New Testament. Their message is so simple, and yet so useful when dealing with conflicts.

I used to work at a company that made all its employees take a communications seminar once a year. Sometime before I was hired, there had been a big blow up in the company that was caused by what they called “poor communications” (it was really gossip). So, every year, we had to take a seminar where they taught us the proper way to communicate.

In that seminar, developed by a high-paid consultant, we used puppets to act out situations. We also learned the following rules:

  1. If you have a problem with someone, go to them directly.
  2. If that doesn’t work, then (and only then) go to a manager or to Human Resources.
  3. If someone comes to you with a grievance against someone else, refer them to Rule #1, and suggest they speak to that person directly.

Do those rules sound familiar? They should, because Jesus gave them to us two thousand years ago. We don’t need a high-paid consultant to tell us they work, but we do sometimes need the courage to follow them.

Thought for the day: “If your brother or sister sins against you, go first and point out the fault in private.” God give us the wisdom and courage to follow this simple advice, even in our business life.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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