We desire our relationships to be full of grace and truth! Those following hard after God are constantly evaluating their lives so that they can fully give Him glory in everything. Part of this process of growth means that we humbly correct one another if we have veered off the path of goodness. I know that I greatly appreciate it when a trusted friend comes to me and points out an area of weakness that I may be able to work on–usually something that I don’t see myself!
But what happens when someone does not respond positively when you address an area of their life where they are clearly misguided? Jesus gives us a great example to follow in Matthew 18. We are to take the necessary steps to lovingly confront someone who is off the path of godliness through other witnesses and through the church. When a particularly public sin or a habitual and unrepentant pattern of sin is being committed, it is important to take good steps to prevent it from damaging the rest of the body of Christ. We are working through how this exactly looks for us in our church. I have come up with a church discipline process chart (partly taken from a class I took by Dr. Jones) that may be useful for you in understanding the biblical process. It is not a fun topic to work through, but here is what we have come up with so far. We desire to be faithful to God and to his Word on this matter while doing so with a loving, shepherding attitude.