First, we must be sure not to follow the pattern of the Pharisees who were splitting hairs about some minor things while ignoring the weightier matters of God’s will (Mt. 23:23). Jesus called them “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (Mt. 23:24). So, we must be sure we do not major in minors and minor in majors. This demands the ability to distinguish the two (Heb. 5:11-14). Put another way, we must make certain the wrongs we confront are truly wrongs.
Second, we must not think we can overlook it and it simply go away. This is not the Jesus way. Jesus demonstrated willingness to confront (see the Pharisees above). We cannot simply avoid the one causing the problem. Paul gave instructions to the Galatian brethren that “…if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2). James 5:19-20 says to turn back one who wanders from the truth is to “…save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” Both passages deny us the option of avoiding the confrontation.
Third, since we cannot shirk our responsibility to correct the wrong, we must avoid the attitude that seeks to bludgeon a brother or sister into submission. Once we have verified that a wrong has been committed, determined we are going to follow the biblical pattern and confront the issue, we must then be certain we go about the correction the right way. Thankfully, we have clear instructions as to how we are to conduct ourselves in confrontation of wrongs. In Colossians 4:6, Paul said to “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” This may vary from person to person.
Christ did not speak to the religious leaders in the same way He did the common, misguided Jew. Because the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and chief priests should have known better, Jesus was much more direct with them. Jude 22-23 speaks to this saying, “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Paul practiced this principle quite well in Acts 17:22-34 when he respectfully confronted a group of pagan philosophers. If we follow these principles, there should be no wrongs in the church we cannot correct.