How to keep things from getting combustible …

A small fire breaks out in your back yard.

Reacting immediately, you run into your garage, grab the can of gasoline stored for your lawn mower, and run back to the yard where you pour the gas on the fire …

Not a smart way to try to put out a fire, right?

Most people know better … at least, when it comes to actual fires.

But when those fires are disputes, arguments, or some kind of relational problem with another believer, we’re often quick to pour gas on the fire with reactions instead of thoughtful responses, angry words, and vengeful behaviors.

We’re quick to forget that scripture gives us step-by-step guidance on how to resolve a problem with a fellow Christian …

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won back that person. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector,” Matthew 18:15-18.

How do you resolve your problems with fellow believers? How do you behave when another Christian talks about their problems with another believer around you? Are you pouring gas on a fire, or following scriptural teaching?