November 25, 2023

Win Them Back

Written by Tripp Prince

The aim and end of relational conflict is always the restoration of intimacy and trust.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 25, 2023

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. Matthew 18:15, NLT

Relational conflict is an unavoidable part of life. We as humans are broken and imperfect, and when my sickness bumps into yours, it is inevitable that we will struggle to see eye to eye. This plays itself out in every sphere of influence: work, home, and yes, even within the church. Though we are the people of God who are filled with the life of God, we are also works in progress who continue to struggle against sin, and we therefore must learn to navigate conflict, not if, but when it comes.

So often, in a heated moment of disagreement, our first and only instinct is one of self-preservation. Rather than being open to the possibility that our brokenness somehow contributed to this breakdown, we rush to our own defense, showing how we’ve been wronged, misunderstood, or falsely accused. When this posture is taken, no longer do we see the other as a brother or sister in Christ, but they transform, sometimes instantaneously, into an enemy and opponent, someone who must be wrong in order for me to be right.

In truth, this impulse can grow to the point that our only aim in the disagreement is to secure our innocence at any cost. Yet, in this confusion, the words of Matthew 18 invite us to consider another way. The aim and end of relational conflict is always the restoration of intimacy and trust. We engage in difficult conversations, not to win a battle but to win back a brother. Undoubtedly, this is hard work! And it is work that we will only engage if and when we learn to value and treasure the gift of a spiritual family, brothers and sisters in the faith that have been given to us by God for our mutual growth and flourishing. 

When relationships in the church are viewed through this lens, we reject any outcome or solution that includes the loss of a brother or sister as an acceptable outcome. Let us always turn toward the other, even in times of pain and confusion, asking God to preserve and keep us in his love and in our mutual affection for one another.


Father, teach us to love as we have been loved, and to move toward one another in that love in order to win back that which can so easily be lost, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Is there a brother or sister in the faith that you can today move toward in love, seeing them not as an enemy or opponent but as a family member that you long to win back?

Related Reading

Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 4:12

Worship Resource

Phil Wickham: This is Our God


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