“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
Reconciliation is a big deal.
As humans, we are designed to live in community. We need social interaction for our own well-being. In the movie Castaway, executive Chuck Noland (played by Tom Hanks) is stranded on a deserted island. He becomes so hungry for relationship that he creates a “friend” using a volleyball. He names his manufactured companion, Wilson.
When there’s division between followers of Christ, Jesus stresses the importance of reconciliation. It’s so significant, in fact, that it takes precedence over offering gifts in worship.
God’s heart for His people is love—for us to love Him and for us to love one another. In this text from Matthew, Jesus is saying that if you are in the wrong, it’s your responsibility to seek out reconciliation. Is it difficult to apologize? To admit we’re wrong? Of course! Pride looms large in our heart. We’re also concerned with how others view us and how we view ourselves. We don’t want to admit that we have an elevated view of self, but we must if we are to live in symbiotic community. The world doesn’t revolve around us. When we’ve wronged someone, God desires for us to walk in humility and make it right.
Father, grant me the humility to admit when I am wrong. Let my life and relationships be a reflection of my love for You. Give me your heart for people. Amen.
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