By Two or Three Witnesses

by Sisterlisa

We hosted a poll over the past few weeks to see how many of you have suffered persecution. I admit we have no way of knowing where, those who voted, live. But the results show that persecution is inflicted upon people in a way that is difficult to prove, which also makes it difficult to stop. In the years of working with hurting men and women over the last decade, we have seen this cycle of mental abuse.

Most times the best way to relieve yourself from experiencing this kind of persecution is to abstain from contact with those abusive people. From our experience over the years we have seen that breaking away from someone who is abusive is because there is a relationship developed that is hard to break away from.

In the beginning we tend to overlook subtle abuse because we are 'blinded by love', as many victims of abuse call it. So, we overlook the abuse and we never speak up about how we feel. When we do that it makes it easier for the abusive ones to inflict more and take advantage of you more often. This is enabling. We love them, overlook the abuse, and enable them to continue being abusive. So, what do you do when it gets to a point where you are under such oppression, but feel so stuck in the relationship? (Please don't misunderstand. I'm not spoeaking about marriage, that is another matter entirely.) I'm speaking about other types of relationships. Whether it's a friend, a co-worker, or religious leader, etc.

We find ourselves in a real jam. If we stop putting up with it and voice our opinion they may retaliate against us or get angry at us speaking up about it. Hold it right there. If we suspect that their reaction will be taken as an offense then that may be a good indicator that we need distance from them, or perhaps we have misunderstood. In any event, the situation demands attention. Our Lord tells us in Matthew 18 that we are to find witnesses to help assist.
Matthew 18:16, "16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
I had a discussion with my husband about this. Since Jesus told us that we need to get two or three witnesses to assist us in establishing a matter, then it is clearly evident to us that those two or three witnesses are bound by biblical command from Jesus, to assist. But when believers refuse to get involved, you continue to seek for help. By the time twenty to thirty people have refused to help you, word gets around and suddenly you're labeled as a gossip. However, if the first three people would have responded to our Lord's command to assist, then it may never have gotten around town to begin with.

  • I recommend you take time to pray before seeking the first few witnesses. You need to make sure they are strong individuals who seek to bring reconciliation to all involved and who can stand firm with everyone.
  • You may want to explain the situation before you inform them of who it involves.
  • Be in prayer together as a group before coming together for a meeting with the individual(s).
  • Be willing to be corrected if you have done wrong as well.

If you are ever approached by someone who needs your assistance in mediating a situation, take it seriously. Please do not deny helping those who need you. If you honestly feel that you won't be able to help them, then at least help them find someone who can. But please do not leave them hanging.

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