Thursday, September 4, 2014
God places such a high priority on relationships, especially amongst His children. He tells us in Matthew 5:23-24 that when we come to worship Him and are aware that our brother has something against us, then we are to leave our gift at the altar and go to him and make it right. In other words, clean up your relationships with your brothers and sisters and then you are ready to worship Him. Christ doesn't focus on who was right and who was wrong but challenges the one that stands to worship Him to reconcile with his brother--even if his brother is at fault. This is not always easy but there is something to be said for a heart that comes to God in pure worship--it clearly meets God's desires. It is the pure in heart that see God (Mt. 5:8).
Over the years I've encountered a few folks who like to tell people when they have been offended. Sometimes my mere presence has been offensive. The reality is that they were really not offenses they just didn't like what was being done. Some times they may be small offenses that people don't even know about. 1 Peter 4:8 says that "love covers a multitude of sins." I believe Scripture let's us know that we can forgive our brothers or sisters in Christ without having them crawl back to us seeking our forgiveness. I can forgive freely because Christ has forgiven me freely. Don't get me wrong, there are times when offenses need to be clarified and made right in order for relationships to be restored. I find great freedom in placing an offense at the foot of the cross, never to pick it up again. Can we just let it go and move on? I believe this is what Peter was intending here.
Can I challenge you to ask God to reveal to you a relationship that needs to be restored? Pray about this matter greatly! Then, seek reconciliation by humbly going and asking for forgiveness of that person. Don't seek to explain yourself or to justify your actions--just seek their forgiveness. If they will not forgive you, forgive them and move on. You will no longer remain in bondage and are free to worship the way God desires. I have heard it said that there is no softer pillow than the pillow of a clear conscience.