Here, Jesus gives a step-by-step approach to resolving conflict. If someone hurts us, we are to speak honestly and openly with the person, revealing the pain that we have experienced. If that doesn’t seem to help, then we are to ask for help from one or two trusted friends. If the one who has done harm still won’t listen, then involve more people. If even that won’t work, then take a break from that relationship.
It seems that we live in a culture that skips the hard work of honest dialogue and either blasts their grievances to anyone who will listen or puts a halt to any contact. How different would social media or the news or television or our own personal lives look if we privately hashed out our differences? What pain might be avoided? What hurtful words might go unsaid? Think of someone with whom you have a difficult relationship. Would a calm, honest conversation be helpful?
In prayer, ask God for the courage to have difficult conversations, for the humility to admit your own part in a problem, and for the peace to offer forgiveness.