When should I confront a person who has offended me?

When should I ignore offenses against me and when I confront the offender?

Three passages answer the first part of the question. "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression." (Proverbs 19:11). In Matthew 18:22, when the Lord taught Peter to forgive "until seventy times seven," He discouraged keeping count of others' wrongs. It is not right to remember with resentment or with a view to paying back. "Taketh not account of evil" (1 Corinthians 13:5, RV) is in keeping with this teaching.

Luke 17:3,4 touches the second part of the question: "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him." Here are the alternatives: rebuke him or forget it. If I must rebuke him, the Lord Jesus teaches, "tell him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matthew 18:15). If there is a good possibility of restoring him from wrongdoing, Galatians 6:1 teaches me to confront him "in the spirit of meekness." When there is professed repentance, the Lord instructs me to forgive, since only God can measure its genuineness.

W. Gustafson