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Reconciliation as an Act of Worship

“When we reconcile with others, we reconcile with God.”

 Matthew 5: 21-26 (NIV)

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
“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.
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”


Don’t murder anyone.

This sounds like a good, solid law. Of course, it is! The problem is the Pharisees and scribes of the day deemed everything in our hearts and minds to be appropriate, as long as no one was killed. Speak ill of your enemies and ruin their reputations, but don’t kill them. Harbor anger and bitterness in your heart, but don’t kill them. The problem with this, however, is that God is concerned about the heart of murder.

A heart that wounds is the heart that holds steadfast to brokenness and anger. This state of mind is a cancer to our hearts and can easily spread to our souls. When we hold grudges and categorize the sins of others, we degrade ourselves right along with degrading them. Jesus tells us that kingdom people must think about anger just as seriously as we think about murder. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, our priorities are no longer about us. They are about Christ’s kingdom and honoring God in our hearts and minds, as well as in our actions.

This is why Jesus redirects us toward reconciliation.

When we look around, there are broken relationships everywhere, but this is not what Jesus has for us. We aren’t to be about the business of anger management. Not everyone has to be on good terms with us, but Jesus calls us to love our enemies and settle our matters quickly. If we don’t, bitterness will grow and take root.

We can’t forgive and reconcile alone; we need the Holy Spirit’s power to work in us and through us. Jesus tells us to have a heart for people and set things right. He tells us not to be angry or to let things simmer over time. We are to love, forgive, and lean into God in order to do it.

When we reconcile with others, we reconcile with God. This is the whole message of the gospel. Reconciliation is His will, and we do this by faith through obedience. What a beautiful collection of disciples we would be if we all followed this command!

Action Steps

What thoughts crossed through your mind as you read this reflection?

Contemplate Romans 12:18 which states, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

How does this verse relate to today’s reading?

Heavenly Father, I pray You continually search my heart and redirect my focus. Change my heart from the inside out. Strengthen me and give me the courage to reconcile when possible. Help me have a heart for people and set things right. Remind me to stand in Your righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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