The Enemy-making Machine

Human beings are good at making enemies. The Hatfields and McCoys are a case study; the two families engaged in a decades-long blood feud that claimed a dozen lives. The point of contention? One lost pig of Randolph McCoy in the fall of 1878, blamed on William Anderson Hatfield. It’s easy for us to put people into categories, to think of them as either friends or enemies, and treat them accordingly. Unfortunately, this enemy-making mentality has seeped into the church throughout history as well.

But Jesus wants to demolish that kind of thinking among his disciples and replace it with something better. In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus outlines a process for dealing with sin among the church, a passage that has too often been abused by our friends-and-enemies thinking. This text is really about moving past the boundaries of friends and enemies to consider and treat one another like family.

Who might Christ be calling you to treat as family today?

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