“…Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
So my former co-worker and I discussed the portion of Scripture above. And having gone through some studies that deal with ‘offense’ this came to light again today. First of all how important it is that we have right relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ (not to mention all the other wonderful and not so wonderful people in our lives.)
Here is the Scripture in its context:
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
“So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Come to terms quickly with your enemy before it is too late and you are dragged into court, handed over to an officer, and thrown in jail. I assure you that you won’t be free agian until you have paid the last penny.”
I am now understanding that I just don’t have a ‘right’ to carry a grudge or to hold on to a misunderstanding with another person. But…why is it so hard to set these things right with a brother or sister I may have offended or royally ticked off? Well, what about that person who observes my actions and sees me as a ‘goody two shoes Christian’ yet can’t get along with my brothers and sisters? What am I showing them? Probably that I am no different from the rest of the world. But I know that I am supposed to be. I am sanctified and set apart. This means I should operate in and with love not being ‘holier than thou’ but holy unto God. I believe this means that I need to look different (responding with actions that reveal a heart of love) to those who observe how I behave, with compassion and being more like Christ!
Father, will you forgive me for my reactions to people, and help me to see we are on this journey of becoming more like You and that means that I need You to teach me how to forgive and ask to be forgiven. These aren’t easy lessons, Father, and my spirit is sometimes very wounded, but I want the transformation into Christlikness to grow and continue even if it hurts. Thank you for Your love and patience towards me, Your daughter who so often times blunders her way through life! I love You, Father and know you are working all things together (in my life) for good. Amen
Maybe the issue of forgiveness and offense has come from extreme circumstances, please know that God can help you work through this situation by handing it over to Him! He will make a way and bring healing and peace to your situation…