Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
~ Matthew 5:21-24, KJV ~
In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus also gives instructions concerning the need for reconciliation. He says to us that “if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Broken relationships with people can impact my relationship with God, hindering my prayer. What is my responsibility when I have a damaged relationship with another person? I need to forgive them whatever offense is between us. And I should seek reconciliation. But reconciliation may not be possible. I have no control over how the other person might respond. But, for my part, I should make the attempt. And even if it does not work out, I should continue to do my best to live at peace with them.
~ Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Bible? Are They Different? ~
If someone resents something I have said or done, dislikes me for reasons unknown to me, my responsibility is to take into consideration whether it was I who generated their dislike or resentment. What was it that I had said? What was it that I had done? What was it that wasn’t said or done? Do I need to make amends for my action or inaction? If I do need to make amends am I justifying my own thoughts and behaviors instead of walking in humility and sincerity to seek amends and reconciliation?
Being honest with myself means I must be honest toward others. Including admission of any wrongdoing – or perceived wrong doing – and work toward reconciling myself with others. The moment I make excuses and justify my reasons for causing an offense then I am further straining the relationship with others – and endangering my relationship with God. To reconcile means I need to be honestly engaged in recognizing and admitting my own faults.
I recognize that I am human and am prone to make mistakes and that I am willing to proactively correct those mistakes. By seeking out those whom I have caused to feel offended or injured, I am solidifying my relationships with others as well as with myself and God. Today, I seek the courage and wisdom to go and reconcile myself first before coming to the altar of God and offering my gift.
Today’s Prayer and Meditation
Heavenly Father, help me to avoid the temptation to deceive myself by justifying and excusing my actions when they were wrong. Help me recognize ways to go forth and be reconciled in my relationships in order to continue living a mindful and spiritual life. In Jesus name, Amen
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