Daily Reflection
August 11th, 1999
Stephen Kline
Public Relations
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Matthew 18:15-20

"Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face."  -- Deuteronomy 34:10

The most powerful communications tool is a face-to-face talk, with eye contact.  It seems that we avoid face-to-face communications when absolutehonesty is required or when the topic makes us squirm.

Imagine knowing God face-to-face.

Face-to-face with the Lord God almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  Face-to-face with the supreme being.

How might I conduct myself if I knew that every now and then I would have to stand face-to-face with someone who knows everything there is to know about me?

Face-to-face with someone who knows my every thought and deed.  Nothing concealed.  Never even a chance to pretend to be something I am not or to hide anything that I am.

How much of that could I stand?  Why does the thought of it make me uneasy?  Because I do not have the courage to be face-to-face with myself?

But why be afraid?

Look at today¹s passage in Matthew from the perspective of the brother who sins.  I put myself in his shoes.

I am not comfortable in his shoes because my experience tells me that people discern my faults, blame me, when they want to exclude me in some way or when they are ashamed of their own behavior.

But in this passage, the person who confronts me about my sin is acting out of compassion.  How do I respond?

I get three chances -- first when I am confronted by one, second when two or three people sit me down for an honest chat and third when the church becomes involved.  What is their motive?  They want to keep me in the
family.  That is important to remember: They want to keep me in the family.  Excluding me is the last resort.

Again, how do I respond?  How could the life that God planted in me resist such love?

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