Do THIS first….

Jesus knows as we live with others we will have trouble. We will encounter others with whom we disagree with and who disagree with us. We will have disputes and conflicts.

We may feel we are right, but we have to be very careful about how we walk this out.

As Jesus talks about heart issues in Matt 5, he says, “So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember your brother or sister has something against you, Leave your gift there in front the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift,” (v 23-23)

Notice, Jesus did not say that the other person must be right in their assessment of our wrong doing in order for us to be compelled to go to them for reconciliation. 😳

And in reading other parts of the Bible, we know Paul tells us in Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

We are to do our very best to live peaceably with others. There does not seem to be an excuse to do otherwise.

It is absolutely not easy. However, we Christians should far exceed those who are not in offering mercy, grace, and kindness. We are to be long suffering. We are not to repay evil for evil.

We are not of this world, and we should not live like everyone else.

We should seek peace —even when it costs us financially or otherwise.

We can’t separate our Christian principles from our financial, business, work and family relationships.

Jesus was very clear when he talked about how the world will tell you an eye for an eye but, “if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well.” (Matt 5:39-40, CSB)

Jesus is telling us to go the extra mile with people (5:41) —the very people who want to cheat us, hurt us, and treat us wrong.

We are not just to love those who we think have treated us well but if we want reward, and any chance of making disciples, we are to love those who do not. (Matt 5:43-48).

What does that mean for me and you right now? Why don’t we stop and pray?

Let’s ask the Lord to bring anyone to mind to whom we need to be reconciled. Let’s apologize where necessary and let’s love those who have wronged us remembering the grace and mercy that the Lord has demonstrated to us.

God tells us this is important, so important that it we are to drop what we are doing and take care of this before we worry about serving Him in other ways.


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