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The feud began between a brother and sister but was carried on by their children and had the potential of lasting for generations. The older brother was the executor of their parents’ estate and, according to his younger sister, took thousands of dollars from the inheritance for himself before dividing it with her.
This offended sister never went to her brother to talk about it. Instead, she allowed the offense to grow into bitter animosity with her brother. If she would have followed the clear instruction of this command, she quickly would have understood the full story and spared herself and many others much grief.
While her parents were alive, her older brother had loaned them a significant amount of money. In order to pay back the debt, they told him to take it out of the estate before he divided it with his sister. Had she gone to her brother when she first became offended, she would have prevented the misunderstanding from turning into a family feud.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But 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. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican” (Matthew 18:15–17).