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)
If I’m honest, I like to skip over these verses because reconciliation is hard. But reconciliation is also a vital part of the Kingdom of God.
What amazes me about this command from Jesus is that it’s not all about us. He didn’t say that if I have something against my brother or sister, I have to deal with that—because that would be self-focused. If I’m honest, I like to make everything about me. But even in this command to reconcile, I am not the focus.
Instead, Jesus said that if someone has something against me, I have to be the one to go and reconcile with them. I don’t have permission to wait until they come to me, instead, I am called to be the one who goes first.Reconciliation is hard, but it's a vital part of the Kingdom of God Click To Tweet
This instruction from Jesus echoes what he called the greatest commandments: love God and love people.
In a world that is divisive and always looking for ways to tear each other apart, what if we, as children of God, dared to live differently? What if we were the courageous ones who would go first in pursuing reconciliation instead of being content with relational strife?
I’m grateful that God is patient and merciful as we try and figure this reconciliation thing out, but I also feel like these verses are an invitation to reimagine relationships. Living the way Jesus did will cost us something, but when we do so, we gain everything.
So let’s courageously choose to live and reconcile like Jesus today.