So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)
I know that you want me to be reconciled to others. I know that you don’t want me to hold on to grudges and carry resentment. I know that you want me to forgive others just as you have forgiven me. You want me to love others just like you have loved me. I get all of this. I understand what you are asking of me. I know how you want me to live. I know what is expected of me if I want to live as one of your witnesses in the world. So far you are on the right track. But, a question is coming. You have something you would like to discuss. There has been reluctance on your part to do something that I have also asked of you. Let me hear your question. Let’s have our discussion.
Why do I need to go to someone that is holding something against me? Aren’t they wrongly holding a grudge or carrying resentment? Aren’t they failing to forgive me just as you forgave them? Aren’t they failing to love others just like you loved them? Why do I need to fix their problem? You are their problem. But, you are right, they do need to let go of grudges and resentments. They do need to love and forgive just like they have been loved and forgiven. You can be sure, that It will not be your job to set them straight on these matters. That is not the reason that you must go to be reconciled to those who have something against you. When someone has something against you don’t assume that you are faultless. Don’t simply think that another person has a problem, that is theirs alone, that they need to get over. I will say it again, you are their problem. That is why you need to go and be reconciled to them. You need to humble yourself and ask what you have done to offend another person. This may be a revelation to you. You might discover a flaw in your behavior. You may discover something that you have said or done that is offensive. You may have an opportunity to confess your sin and ask for forgiveness. You may have an opportunity to live in a restored relationship. You may have an opportunity to shine brightly as my witness in the world. You may have an opportunity to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Will you go and be reconciled to anyone who has something against you? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have been resistant to the idea of going to be reconciled to someone who has something against me. I have wrongly thought they should make the first move if they have a problem with me. Forgive me. Help me, to make the first move and go to them. Amen
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