"That Person Hurt Me!"

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God cares more about the olive branch than He does about the tithe.

Matthew 5:23-24

“Therefore, 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.”

Max Lucado quips, “As far as I know, this is the only time God tells you to slip out of church early.”

In 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, we learn that as Christians, we have been given the “ministry of reconciliation.” The Gospel in and of itself is all about reconciliation, isn’t it? So … from our verse today it would appear that God cares more about the olive branch than He does about the tithe. Does that shock to you?

Here’s the hard part: this command is not talking about the people who have made YOU mad. It’s commanding us to go to the people that WE have wronged, but if we don’t? Every offering we leave at God’s feet is tainted.

Scripture commands both the offender and the one who has been offended to seek reconciliation … to forgive … and to forget. The picture would be of two people walking along a path: one is on his way to seek forgiveness and the other is on his way to offer it -- when they meet in the middle. According to God’s Word, both were on the right path.

Can you think of one person you need to meet on that path? Is the Holy Spirit bringing someone to mind that you may have angered or hurt? Contact them before this coming Sunday and seek reconciliation. They may forgive you. They may not. Either way, you will be able to worship God more fully and more righteously because you have been faithful to your “ministry of reconciliation.”

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