God designs all kingdom processes. To speak of them in terms of customer service excellence, we start by answering the question, “Who is the customer served?”
This is true with the process of reconciliation to which Jesus refers in Matthew 18.
The first answer is always “the King.” The primary customer served is the King of the kingdom.
To clarify who the second customer may be, we must look at the result the process is designed to produce, remembering the King designed the process. The King has an end or goal or intention for the process.
Other customers may be served after the King and the secondary customer. Many different objectives may rely upon the process’s efficiency, and those customers may not be distinct, or as obvious, as the primary and secondary customers.
The King allows for no relational breach within the kingdom culture. Any unresolved relational breach must be reconciled or the relationship properly defined by kingdom culture design. The customer served by the reconciliation or redefinition process is the King.
The second customer is the person done wrong by another kingdom citizen. To understand “sins against you,” we go back to the principles of the kingdom culture. The King tells what is normal, and what breaches normal, as defined by the King, is the basis for understanding when someone has been “done wrong.”
If we do not use the “sin,” we are most certainly not Biblical, nor does our lifestyle fit kingdom culture. In this instance, the process follows the principle. If your brother sins against you is a definable behavioral breach of kingdom culture normal.
The King is the first customer served because all sin is against God, even when it is a sin against another person. So, it is not possible to maintain kingdom culture when we ignore sin since all sin is against the King of the kingdom, the primary customer of the reconciliation process.
While getting things right with God is imperative, Jesus informs us that sinning against a brother includes a process beyond making things right with God.
Jesus does not begin with the “How To Know You Have Been Done Wrong” part of the process since that is something determined by principle, not process. We should have a working definition of life and death, good and evil, as kingdom citizens because we have been discipled.
Jesus begins His discussion of the process of reconciliation with an understanding that a kingdom citizen has been done wrong by another kingdom citizen. This reconciliation is a kingdom process, not a civil court, gossip, social media soap opera, or a “let’s choose up sides and have a brawl” process.
The process has an intended result: reconciliation between brothers or redefinition of relationship (“We ain’t brother anymore, and my responsibility to you is no longer brother to brother.”)
The first customer is the King, and He will be interested and involved in the entire process.
The second customer is the citizen wronged by his brother, and he should continue the process until the intention of the process is completed.
The third customer is the people suffering from the breach of relationship, and they should be interested and involved as is necessary, so no residual offense remains after the process.
The scope of the process includes all the people necessary, including the entire Ecclesia, to reach the intended result. The sin is personal and remains personal when the brother makes things right with the brother he wronged. The sin is not private when he refuses because the details become available to other brothers, probably leaders, who become witnesses or were already witnesses to the breach.
The scope of the process becomes regional to the entire Ecclesia when the brother refuses to make things right with the King, the wronged brother, those also hurt, the witnessing leaders, and the Ecclesia of the
I am writing here at the airport, waiting to board a flight. I am still wondering about the “completely without a clue” people are who designed and created the process for checking in and checking my bag. It is obvious they involved no interested customers in designing the process, including the people who work for the airline. They created something that serves them, and the process fails at each step to meet any other intended purpose. The customer is someone within the airline that cares little about the airline or the person buying a ticket to fly on the airline.
In kingdom culture, the process the King designs works every time. So, the failure of any process means the people failed, not the process. If the breach of relationship does not result in reconciliation or redefinition of relationship, the people involved and interested did not follow the process.
- The process has a definable scope of application and implementation that serves all the customers involved or interested. In the natural world, the customer is often conditioned to receive the intention of the process, even when it comes at his expense. In the kingdom, every process produces an intended result suitable for the King, the entire kingdom, and the people involved or interested even when the people involved and interested did something wrong.
- In the natural world, processes must be changed and updated all the time, greater productivity and efficiency, along with greater simplicity, must be sought and achieved. The natural world is continually shaken by change based upon unanticipated or discerned and discovered future environmental conditions. In the kingdom of God, processes are applied and implemented without consideration for changing environmental concerns since the kingdom is never shaken.
The kingdom culture has a process for normalizing every broken principle and protocol. Redemption and restoration are always available. Beginning with the most difficult – marriage covenant – moving through parenting, honoring parents, and the extended natural family – the principles of the kingdom culture define what requires a process. The principles define protocols, and protocols are often the point at which someone sins against his brother.
Jesus sees divorce as a process, for example, necessary to heal a breach where someone sins against someone else. The principles and protocols of kingdom covenant marriage clarify the process applied and implemented to restore relationship with the King, kingdom, and all those involved or interested in the breach.
Jesus is well aware that His kingdom on Earth contains imperfect people. He did not design a kingdom culture for perfection but redemption and restoration. He created a kingdom culture courageous enough to set a person outside the gates of the kingdom when that person refuses to honor the King and His culture’s principles, processes, and protocols. From that redefined relationship to the kingdom, Jesus and the kingdom begins all over again with that person as a pagan. The person has, after all, been acting pagan during the process that results in him standing outside the gates.